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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  

 

FxPro

FxPro Review
Trader's rating 3.6
Editor's rating 4.5

Trading Accounts

 

Account type/Platform Minimum deposit Minimum trade size Maximum leverage Average Spreads Execution type
MT4
 
$100
 
0.01
 
1:500
 
fixed 1.6 pips
variable 1.4 pips
Instant
market
MT5 $100 0.01 1:500 1.4 pips  Market
cTrader $100 0.01 1:500 0.3 pips +$4.5* Market

 

*Commission is calculated per standard lot of 100 000 currency base units (per side).

 

Depending on the trading platform used, FxPro offers three basic account types – MT4, MT5, and cTrader (NDD). All three account types offer dynamic leverage up to 1:500 and micro tradeable lots.

 

Besides, FxPro offers its in-house built FxPro Markets platform.

 

In addition, the brokerage provides swap-free (Islamic) accounts to clients of the Muslim faith, as well as VIP services to high-net-worth individuals and those actively trading large volumes.

 

VIP clients benefit from free VPS service, no deposit fees, and receive trade recommendations, exclusive news reports and margin level alerts via email and SMS.

 

Trading Conditions

 

Minimum initial deposit

In order to open an account with FxPro, one has to invest $100, however the recommended minimum initial deposit is $500.

 

Spreads & Commission

FxPro offers a choice of fixed and variable spreads, commission-free (MT4 & MT5) and commission-involving (cTrader) accounts on an array of platforms.

 

In fact, the broker’s fixed spreads are quite good - 1.6 pips on EUR/USD, while most fixed-spread brokers provide such of 2 pips. FxPro’s variable spreads, on the other hand, are average – typical ones are around 1.4 (MT4 & MT5) or 1.2 pips (FxPro Markets) for the EUR/USD pair on commission-free accounts. The tightest spreads with this broker are available on cTrader accounts - 0.3 pips, however if we add the commission of $9 round trip, average trading costs per standard lot traded amount to around 1.2 pips.

 

In comparison, another major UK broker, IG, offers average spreads of 0.2 pips on its DMA accounts, where a commission of $5 per side per standard lot applies. For further information, you can check out the real-time spreads of 15 leading brokers here.

 

Maximum leverage

FxPro offers comparatively high leverage levels – up to 1:500. Despite the fact that such leverage levels are considered high, many other brokers offer leverage up to 1:500 or higher. In comparison, IG offers leverage up to 1:200.

 

In order to control the risk associated with it, the broker utilizes a dynamic forex leverage model on the MT4 and MT5 platforms, which automatically adapts to clients trading positions:

 

 

The Company

 

FxPro is an award-winning pure NDD broker that offers trading in on a range of instruments, including currency pairs, shares, spot indices, futures, spot metals and spot energies, on a selection of trading platforms. It provides its clients with access to top-tier liquidity, excellent trading conditions and the highest level of customer protection possible, including negative balance protection.  

 

What is more, FxPro demonstrates a long-term commitment to transparency, as it regularly publishes trades execution statistics (slippage & requotes data). This brokerage is excellent choice for both savvy and novice traders. Beginners can take advantage of the broker's educational resources – video tutorials, webinars, live hangouts, etc. For more advanced traders, there are additional analytical tools like Trading Central and Autochartist. 

 

FxPro is the collective brand name of FxPro UK Ltd., an entity regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and FxPro Financial Services Ltd., which is licensed by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and the Financial Services Board (FSB) of South Africa. In October, 2017 the broker was granted a license to operate in the UAE from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).

 

Company

Country

Regulation

FxPro UK Limited

UK

FCA

FxPro Financial Services Ltd

Cyprus

CySEC

FxPro Financial Services Limited

South Africa

FSB

 

Security of funds

 

Both FCA and CySEC apply certain rules and requirements to regulated firms, thus ensuring a good level of credibility. Cypriot and UK brokers must hold at least €730 000 in order to prove their good financial standing, and are required to keep customer funds in segregated accounts, separated from the company’s operating funds. 

 

As a further guarantee to clients’ funds, all companies regulated in UK and Cyprus are covered by compensation schemes as additional guarantee to clients’ funds. All deposits with a UK regulated forex broker up to £50,000 per client are guaranteed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) - UK’s statutory compensation scheme for clients of authorized financial services companies. Similarly, Cypriot Investment Firms are members of the Investor Compensation Fund, which is able to pay compensation up to 20,000 EUR, If the company is in default. 

 

What is more, FxPro Financial Services Limited is also licensed by the Financial Services Board (FSB) as a Financial Services Provider. South Africa is lately gaining popularity as a forex broker destination.

 

Trading platforms

 

FxPro supports MT4, MT5, cTrader and proprietary FxPro Markets platform.

 

FxPro Markets is the latest addition to the broker’s suite of trading platforms, available for web and mobile devices. It is a comprehensive, all-in-one trading solution, enabling clients to create and manage their trading accounts, deposit funds, and trade the markets, etc.

 

In spite of the number of improvements made to MT5 lately (and most importantly the hedging option added to it), MetaTrader 4 is still preferred by most brokers and experienced traders. That is why most brokers support it. MT4 provides an advanced charting package, lots of technical indicators, extensive back-testing environment and a variety of Expert Advisors (EAs).

 

MT4’s successor, MetaTrader 5, allows the execution of orders in several financial markets and stock exchanges through a single trading account. This platform also features advanced charting package, trading and analysis tools, alerts, signals, and customizable indicators. 

 

Last but not least, FxPro offers access to cTrader platform, which is custom-made for use in NDD environment.  cTrader is fast, easy to use and provides pricing transparency and tight spreads.  The cTrader suite includes a PC, web and mobile versions, as well as automated trading software cAlgo.

 

FxPro provides ultrafast execution: 99.9% of orders executed within 50ms. In addition, its clients may run their MT4 Expert Advisors or cAlgo robots on the Virtual Private Server, without even needing to keep their trading terminal running.

 

Payment methods

 

Clients of FxPro Financial Services Limited are offered a wide range of payment methods: Bank transfer, Credit/Debit Card (including Visa, Visa Electron, Visa Delta, MasterCard, Maestro International, Maestro UK), PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, China UnionPay, mPay, FasaPay (for Indonesian clients), Webmoney (for Russian clients), Moneta, Boleto (for Brazilian customers), Netbanx (for Chinese customers), eProtections (for Japanese customers).

 

Clients of FxPro UK Limited may use only Bank transfer and Credit/Debit Card.

 

Withdrawals are proceeded by the broker’s Client Accounting Department within 1 working day.

 

Conclusion

 

FxPro is one of the most prominent names in the forex industry. The broker operates as a Hybrid Agency Model broker, offering Negative Balance Protection and enabling clients to access top-tier liquidity, wide range of trading platforms and financial instruments with lightning-fast execution. It is well-regulated and extremely reliable with its long-term commitment to transparence. Here are, in a nutshell, the advantages and disadvantages with regards to this broker:

 

Pros Cons
Strong regulation  No major disadvantages
Negative balance protection  
Multiple trading platforms offered  
Competitive spreads & pricing  
High leverage levels offered  
Pure NDD brokerage  
Fast execution speed  

 

 

Headquarters: Karyatidon 1, Ypsonas 4180, Cyprus

Tel: +357 25 969 222; Fax: +357 25 969 269; 
Email: [email protected];

Country: Cyprus, UK

Regulated by: FxPro Financial Services Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission under the license number 078/07

FxPro UK Ltd (a subsidiary of FxPro Financial Services Limited) is authorised and regulated by the FSA (Registration No 509956) 

Website: FxPro.co.uk

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