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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  

 

QRYPTOS

QRYPTOS Review
Trader's rating 2.1
Editor's rating 3.8

Trading accounts

 

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Maker Fee Taker Fee
Standard Undisclosed Unknown -0.075% 0.15%

QRYPTOS is the second brand operated by QUOINE (with QUOINEX being the main product they are famous for). While this may seem curious to those who aren't familiar with the crypto space, there is a simple reason for running two companies – they offer different services. Their first project is aimed at cash to cryptocurrency transactions, while QRYPTOS focuses on exchanging one digital asset for another. The situation is very similar to the one at Coinbase and GDAX.

 

 

The company, security of funds

 

Company Country Regulation
QUOINE Pte. Ltd Japan/Singapore/Vietnam JFSA

 

QRYPTOS is owned QUOINE Pte. Ltd., a company with offices in Japan, Singapore and Vietnam.  When it comes to their viability as an exchange, they are regulated by the Japanese Financial Services Agency (JFSA). This is more than what most competitors in the crypto-space can claim.

 

QUOINE was founded in 2014 and their latest project, QRYPTOS is even younger. A lot of its features, like the mobile apps are still under development. We will update this review, once major changes occur. 

 

Substantial hacks have not yet occurred at either of the companies operated by QUOIN. That being said, we must mention the most notable case of a technical issue, experienced by the parent company. One of their largest traders (the firm B2C2) made a $3.7 million profit, after allegedly “exploiting a glitch” in the QUOINEX trading software. The transaction(s) were later reverted, leading to a lawsuit. Not much is known about the details of this event. For the sake of clarity we must mention, this whole saga happened before the company received the JFSA regulatory approval.

 

As the QRYPTOS project is fairly new, there also aren't that many user reviews.

 

Trading conditions

 

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

Quite a few coins are available at QRYPTOS. The full list includes Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Litecoin, Ethereum Classic, Monero, Zcahs, Sellar, Dash, Augur and NEM (13 trading pairs in total). While the selection isn't as big as the one provided by Bittrex, for instance, it is still very solid.

 

Minimum initial deposit

We didn't have information about the minimum deposit at QRYPTOS. On the other hand, forex brokers usually provide this freely. As an example, one of the world's leading FCA-regulated brokers (which also offers Bitcoin and Ethereum trading) IG doesn't have an entry bar. One can open an account with the company for as little as she wants. For a full comparison of the two different services, read this post.

 

 

Leverage

There is no information on the leverage available at QRYPTOS. The company’s other brand QUOINEX offers a 1:25 ratio, but a lot fewer products (and a different fee structure, more on that later). We are unaware if this functionality will be integrated with QRYPTOS. Keep in mind, cryptocurrencies tend to be a lot more volatile than traditional ones, where forex brokers offer amazing leverage levels, such as 1:500.

 

 

Fees

The main way of attracting volume to the QRYPTOS exchange is the fee structure. While a lot of exchanges offer slightly better conditions for market makers, going into negative territory I.e. paying rebates for providing volume is usually reserved for the big traders. QRYPTOS offers a 0.075% rebate for everybody who provides liquidity on their platform. The taker fee is a very competitive 0.15%. In effect the company is giving 50% of its profit to the passive traders.

 

Before you think, you can become a liquidity provider at QRYPTOS and make money without taking any risk, we will have to clarify how exchanges work. A market “maker” (not to be confused with a forex market maker) is a trader who places pending orders on the exchange, hence filling the “order book”. A taker is anybody who sends a market order, entering directly at the best possible price. If you decide to be a liquidity provider, who simply aims to profit from the buying and selling of others, you will still be taking a significant market risk. Whenever a swift market move occurs, your will be taking the other side. On top of that the field is very competitive, with a lot of algo players.

 

Trading platform

 

The platform provided by QRYPTOS is web-based, with mobile apps promised for the future. Traders can fully customise the layout to their preference, but the main limitation of browser platforms still applies – everything must be in the same window. When it comes to the charting, one can choose between the charts provided by either TradingView or Cryptowatch. Here is a preview of the default layout:

 

 

As you can see from the picture, the charts aren’t properly configured yet, or the trading activity is rather minimal. Additionally they have maintained one of the features from QRYPTOEX, which we didn’t like – the order book is still placed vertically. As far as our tinkering with the platform, we couldn’t find a way to make it appear better. That being said, this still a fairly new project, so such things should not be surprising. 

 

Methods of payment

QRYPTOS only accepts cryptocurrency transfers. They are possible in all of the coins, which the company supports. On top of that, you can use your QUOINEX account as a means of depositing money with the company.

 

 

Conclusion

QRYPTOS is the second brand operated by the JFSA-regulated company QUOINEX. While their initial project QUOINEX is oriented towards attracting new people to the cryptocurrency space, this one is for the more experienced traders. With 13 trading pairs this exchange offers some alternatives, but is by no means an altocoin heaven. The entire QRYPTOS project is still in its early days, and we will update this review, once more information is available.

 

Pros Cons
JFSA Regulation Not enough user feedback yet
No major hacks yet Not that many altcoins available 
Competitive commissions (including rebates) The order book is placed vertically (as in QUOINEX)
Customizable trading platform   
Several trading instruments  

 

Forex
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