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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  

 

FXTM

FXTM Review
Trader's rating 4.5
Editor's rating 5

Trading Accounts

 

Account type Minimum deposit   Minimum trade size Maximum leverage  Spreads (& Commission) Execution type
Cent  $5 0.01 1:500** from 1.5 pips  Instant
Standard  $100 0.01 1:500** from 1.3 pips Instant
ECN Zero.mt4 $200 0.01 1:500** from 1.5 pips  Market
ECN MT5 $500  0.01 1:500** from 0.2 pips + $2 / lot* Market
ECN $500  0.01 1:500** from 0.1 pips + $2 / lot* Market
PRO $25 000 0.01 1:500** from 0 pips Market

 

* Commission is calculated per standard lot of 100 000 currency base units (per side).
** Leverage depends on the country of residence, knowledge 
& experience of each Client.

 

FXTM offers a wide range of trading accounts, which may be categorized in two groups: Standard (Standard, CENT, and Shares accounts) and ECN (ECN MT4, ECN MT5, ECN ZERO and Pro).

 

In addition to the ones shown in the table above, there is a special account for trading in CFDs on shares, called Shares account, which is directly connected to NYSE and NASDAQ’s product price listings.

 

Furthermore, FXTM offers swap-free (Islamic) trading, available on all account types (except the MT5 one) and involve a fee of $ 1.7 per lot.

 

Micro, mini and standard lots are available on all account types.

 

Trading Conditions

 

Minimum initial deposit

In order to open an account with FXTM, one has to invest just $5, which is a symbolically low minimum initial deposit.

 

Spreads & Commission

Most of FXTM’s accounts are commission-free: Standard ones, as well as the ECN Zero and Pro accounts. Only ECN MT4 & ECN MT5 accounts involve a small commission fee of $4 (per standard lot round trip).

 

The floating spreads offered by this broker vary by account type. The tightest spreads are available on the ECN and Pro accounts; however, the latter is intended for institutional clients (with minimum initial deposit of $25 000), so we would recommend the ECN MT4 account. The typical spreads on these accounts amount to 0.4 pips on EUR/USD and if we include the commission (2 x $2), average trading costs for this pair are around 0.8 pips per lot, which is a very attractive offer.

 

Maximum leverage

High leverage levels are available with FT Global Limited – up to 1:1000. The broker utilizes a floating leverage system. 

 

However under Forextime Limited this is maximum up to 1:30.

 

As regards cryptocurrencies CFDs (available only in FT Global Limited), the maximum leverage available is 1:10, as they tend to be more volatile than traditional fiat currencies.

 

The Company. Security of funds

 

FXTM is a broker that truly suits the needs of traders of all skill levels and preferences. Its offering covers more than 240 tradeable instruments, including a number of currency pairs, various CFDs, as well as ctyptocurrencies. Keep in mind that trading CFDs on cryptocurrencies is only available under FT Global Limited.

 

Furthermore, clients of this broker may choose from market and instant execution, MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 trading platforms, and a wide range of trading accounts. Besides, this client-centric broker created an array of ways to provide its clients with effective trading knowledge and education. 

 

Forex Time (FXTM) was established in 2011 when one of the co-founders of Alpari separated from the Russia-based broker and launched one of his own under the FXTM brand. Since then, the company has opened a number of offices around the world, and is believed to be one of the fastest growing brokers in the industry. The latest of them is FXTM London office which opened its doors in April this year in order to better serve clients in the UK and Europe. Besides, the company is regulated in multiple jurisdictions:

 

Company

Country

Regulation

ForexTime Limited

Cyprus

CySEC

ForexTime Limited

South Africa

FSB

FT Global Limited

Belize 

IFSC

ForexTime UK Limited

UK

FCA

 

ForexTime Limited, doing business as FXTM, is licensed and regulated by some of the most reliable financial watchdogs worldwide - the Cyprus Commodities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Bothe governmental agencies require licensed companies to hold at least €730 000 as a proof of financial stability and to keep client funds must be held in segregated accounts and regulated entities are required to report to the Commission on a regular basis.

 

Furthermore, CySEC and  UK’s FCA apply compensation schemes as an additional guarantee to clients’ funds. All CySEC-regulated companies are members of the Investor Compensation Fund, able to provide compensations to a maximum of 20,000 EUR per person in the event of broker insolvency. Clients of FCA-regulated brokers, on the other hand, are insured up to 50 000 GBP each.

 

As both Cyprus and UK are (still) part of the EU, MiFID regulations apply, allowing companies licensed in those countries to operate in all EU Member States. In spite of this, FXTM is officially registered with a number of other EU regulators: Germany’s BaFin, Italy’s CONSOB, France’s AMF, Spain’s CNMV and Norway’s FSAN.

 

What is more, FXTM (ForexTime Limited) is licensed by the Financial Services Board (FSB) of South Africa as a Financial Services Provider. The broker holds a category 1 license to act as an Intermediary in Securities and Instruments (Shares, Money market instruments, Bonds, Derivative instruments).

 

In line with CySEC proposiotions and ESMA guidelines introduced in 2016, FXTM announced it ensures that losses will never exceed the total available funds in client accounts. Actually, this means that the broker’s clients cannot lose more than they have deposited - a policy also known as negative balance protection.

 

Trading platforms

 

As we have already mentioned, FXTM supports both MetaQuutes platforms: MT4 and MT5. The broker offers both of them as desktop, web and mobile versions (for iOS & Android devices) and makes regular updates.

 

In spite of the number of enhancements made to MT5 lately (and the final introduction of hedging on both desktop and web versions), MetaTrader 4 is still preferred by most brokers and experienced traders. It provides an advanced charting package, lots of technical indicators, extensive back-testing environment and a variety of Expert Advisors (EAs). Thanks to its ease of use, MT4 is also suitable for beginner traders, for they can also find their way around it quite easily.

 

MT4’s successor, MetaTrader 5, allows the execution of orders in several financial markets and stock exchanges through a single trading account. The platform features advanced charting package, trading and analysis tools, alerts, signals, and customizable indicators. Besides, MetaQuites has recently made many significant upgrades to it, such as adding a tool for analyzing exchange markets, news management improvement, and most importantly the hedging feature.

 

For clients who prefer automated trading strategies through Expert Advisors (EAs), FXTM offers a designated forex VPS service, and technical traders can take advantage of the Trading Central technical analysis tool – free of charge. Besides, FXTM offers advanced copy-trading solution, called FXTM Invest.

 

Promotions

FXTM regularly organizes various promotions and trading contests, as it strives to offer its clients the best trading opportunities and to empower their skills and knowledge. These are mainly held by FT Global Limited where Terms & Conditions Apply.

 

At the time of writing this review FT Global Limited offers Loyalty Cashback program, where traders can get $2 – $5 rebates per lot anyone who deposits $5 up to $10000, based on their deposit value. Meanwhile, new clients switching from another broker get $4 for every lot they trade. (T&Cs apply)

 

In addition, FT Global Limited offers a Refer-a-friend bonus of $25 ONCE a referral becomes active (T&Cs apply).

 

Payment methods

 

FXTM offers various secure payment methods, including credit/debit card payments, Bank Wire transfers, and numerous E-wallets, such as Skrill, Neteller, Alsfa-Ckick, WebMoney, Western Union, Payza, dotpay, Yandex, Qiwi,and Baidu Pay. 

 

The above depends on your country of residence. 

 

Conclusion

 

ForexTime is a global and award-winning broker with clients from over 180 countries. It offers a wide array of almost everything: tradable products, trading accounts & platforms, payment methods, execution types, you name it.

 

Pros  Cons
Solid regulation (FCA, CySEC) No major disadvantages
Variety of tradable products (incl. cryptocurrencies in FT Global Limited only) and trading accounts offered  
Tight ECN spreads, low-cost trading
Low minimum initial deposit & commission fees  
Flexible leverage levels offered  
Negative Balance Protection  

 

Country: Cyprus

Regulated by:  CySEC (Cyprus), IFSC (Belize)

Licensed by the Financial Services Board (FSB) of South Africa, with FSP No. 4661

Website: www.forextime.com 

Promotions: 

Loyalty cashback programme

Switch to ForexTime

 

WHY FXTM

✓ Regulated broker.

✓ Advanced risk management and segregation of client funds held in top-tier banks.

✓ SWAP-free option available. 

✓ Leverage up to 1:1000.

✓ Tight spreads starting from 0 pips.

✓ 120+ instruments including currency pairs, Spot Metals, CFDs on Commodity Futures, CFDs on ETF’s and Indices and Share CFDs.

✓  Variety of tailor-made account types to suit the needs of any type of trader. 

✓ Full feature trading platforms available on multiple desktop and mobile devices. 

✓ Various secure and trusted payment methods. Including credit/debit card payments, E-wallets and Bank Wire transfers. 

✓ Investment programs such as FXTM Invest. 

✓ Regular Live and Demo Contests with amazing cash prizes (terms and conditions apply).

✓ Online forex courses and webinars for proper trader education.

✓ Local seminars held in different places around the world. 

✓ Daily in-depth fundamental analysis articles and videos.

✓ Customer Support team that speaks your language.

✓ Cutting edge mobile application to ensure you keep track of the markets at all times. 

Forex
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