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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  

 

HighLow

HighLow Review
Trader's rating 1
Editor's rating 4.6

 

Basic Information

 

Min.deposit

Min./Max. bet size

Payout %

Promotion

Trading platform

$50

$10/ $2,000 

Up to 88%*

up to $50 cashback

In-house web-based

 

*Up to 100%, spread included

 

HighLow is an ASIC-regulated binary options broker, that offers industry leading payouts on its unique trading platform. Unlike most binary options brokers, it offers a single trading account type.

 

In terms of assets, however, the broker’s portfolio appears rather limited. It includes less than 20 currency pairs, less than 10 indices CFDs and gold.

 

The Company. Security of Funds

 

Company

Country

Regulation

Highlow Markets Pty. Ltd.

Australia

ASIC

 

HighLow is a brand name Highlow Markets Pty. Ltd., a firm regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).

 

ASIC requires licensed companies to meet certain requirements and to comply with various rules. Australian forex brokers must hold at least $ 1 million in order to operate legitimately, to keep  clients’ money segregated trust accounts and to report transactions regularly.

 

Unlike other European brokers, however, Australian ones are not covered by any compensation scheme.

 

Trading Conditions

 

Trading Options: High/Low, High/Low Spread, Turbo, Turbo Spread

Assets:  Currencies, Indices and Commodities

Expiry Times: High/Low, High/Low Spread – from 15 min to 1 day 3

Turbo, Turbo Spread - from 30 seconds to 5 minutes

 

As you can see, popular trading options such as long-term binary options, One Touch, Ladder and Pairs are not available with HighLow. Also, there is no option to follow other traders, such as SpotFollow or iFollow.

 

On the other hand, this broker offers an unusual type of options that show a bid/ask spread, the standard method of price making in the forex markets. These are Turbo Spread and High/Low Spread options.

 

Minimum Initial Deposit

The minimum initial deposit for clients of HighLow is $50, which is a low initial amount. Many binary options brokers require $100 - $200 from traders as a start, and they are not even regulated.

 

Min. bet size

The minimum bet size with this broker is $10, which is average. By comparison, with mobile-only binary options broker NenX one can place a trade with just €1. A bet size as low as this allows lower-risk trades.

 

Payout amount

HighLow's payouts are expresses in their platform as decimal odds. In fact, this broker offers rather high payouts, those for Turbo Spread and High/Low Spreadwhich actually being among the highest in the industry, reaching 100%.  However, with those instruments traders have also pay a spread, as their name suggests.  This is how the broker gets paid for its services and is able to offer 100% returns.

 

On the other hand, the payout amount for HighLow’s non-Spread instruments is 88%, which is also attractive.

 

Trading Platform

 

HighLow uses its in-house web-based platform, which is also available as mobile applications for iPhone/iPad and Android devices. It is quite unique and easy to use at the same time.

 

 

Once an asset is selected, the chart below will update, showing current price levels, trader sentiment, payout and the expiry. The platform’s charts, however, are basic, lacking advanced technical analysis features.

 

Besides, the platform provides a sentiment indicator, Trader’s Choice, that allows users to monitor current trading trends in real time.

 

Promotions

HighLow currently offers up to $50 cashback on initial trades for new clients.  

 

Methods of Payment

 

There are several payment methods available to HighLow’ clients: Credit cards (Visa), bank wire and e-payment service Neteller. Other region-based methods are also available.

 

There is a $20 fee for international transfers to overseas bank accounts.  

 

Conclusion

 

HighLow is an ASIC-regulated binary options broker whose offerings are pretty unique in terms of instruments and platform. It offers 100% payouts but these instruments also include a spread. To sum up the above, here are the advantages and drawbacks in relation to this broker:

 

Pros Cons
ASIC-regulated No long-term options, OneTouch, Ladder
Attractively high payout amounts Rather limited asset offering
Unique and easy to use trading platform  

 

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