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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  

 

XM

XM Review
Trader's rating 3.4
Editor's rating 4.7

Trading Accounts

 

Account type  Minimum deposit  Minimum trade size  Maximum leverage  Average Spreads
Micro  $5  0.01 1:500 1.7 pip on EUR/USD
Standard  $5 0.01 1:500 1.7 pip on EUR/USD
Zero  $100 0.01 1:500 0.1 pips on EUR/USD + $7 / lot (round trip) 

 

XM offers its clients three types to choose from: Micro, Standard and Zero. You may choose from commission-free trading (in Micro and Standard accounts) or tighter spreads, involving commission fees and higher initial deposit (Zero account). The broker offers high leverage levels and floating spreads. Beginners can sign up for Micro accounts with as little as $5, and micro lots are available for trade on all accounts.


What is more, swap-free (Islamic) accounts are available, designated for clients who are not willing to earn interest for religious reasons.


The Company. Security of Funds

 

Company Country Regulation
Trading Point of Financial Instruments Ltd. Cyprus  CySEC
Trading Point of Financial Instruments UK Limited UK FCA
Trading Point of Financial Instruments PTY Ltd. Australia ASIC

 

Based on the sunny island of Cyprus, XM offers great trading conditions for trading in a wide range of instruments, including currency trading, CFDs on commodities, indices, precious metals, energies and stocks on two trading platforms (MT4 and MT5). What is more, XM provides ultra-fast execution (99.35% of all trades executed in less than 1 second), as well as awesome bonuses & promotions.

 

XM is a brand name of Trading Point Holdings Ltd, which wholly owns Trading Point of Financial Instruments UK Ltd (XM UK), Trading Point of Financial Instruments Pty Ltd (XM Australia) and Trading Point of Financial Instruments Ltd (XM Cyprus).

  

FCA, CySEC and ASIC apply certain rules and requirements to regulated firms, which are not as stringent as those in the US, for instance, however they provide a good level of credibility. Besides, licensed brokers 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 clinets of authorised 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.

 

Currently, however, Australian forex brokers are not covered by any compensation scheme.

 

Trading Conditions


Minimum Initial Deposit

In order to open an account with XM, traders have to invest just $5. Such low minimum initial amount is rather attractive, as typically brokers require $100 - $300 as a start.


Spreads & Commissions

This broker offers variable spreads. The typical ones on commission-free accounts amount to 1.7 pips on EUR/USD. According to us, the conditions on the Zero account are better: spreads averaged 0.1 pips on EUR/USD and commission $3.5 per standard lot traded (per side). So, basically trading costs on the Zero account amount to around 0.8 pips, commission included, which is a great offer. What is more, you can open a Zero account with just $100.


Leverage
XM offers flexible leverage between 1:1 to 1:500. Using leverage means that you can trade positions larger than the amount of money in your trading account. Leverage amount is expressed as a ratio, for instance 50:1, 100:1, or 500:1. Assuming that you have $1,000 in your trading account and you trade ticket sizes of 500,000 USD/JPY, your leverage will equate 500:1.


Trading Platforms

 

When trading with this broker, you will be offered both MetaQuuotes;s platforms - the Metatrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5).

 

MT4 is an internationally acclaimed trading software, offering a full array of trading tools and features: more than 50 built-in technical indicators, advanced charting package, a wide range of Expert Advisors (EAs) and extensive back-testing options for them. Traders can download ready-made or create their own EAs and let the program do all the work, no human emotions involved. The MT4 with XM is availavle in all forms and shapes: desktop, web, and mobile.

What is more, XM provides MT4 MultiTerminal, which offers a practical and convenient way to manage multiple accounts simultaneously from a single interface (PAMM).

 

Recently MetaQuotes has been putting a stronger emphasis on the MT5: the hedging function was finally added to it and all versions of the platform have been ehanced. As a result, the number of brokers that support the platform has been on the increase. XM also followed suit and added it to its offerings. 


Besides, free Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting is offered to both new and existing customers of XM who deposit a minimum of $5,000 and trade at least 5 round turn lots per month. VPS hosting allows the execution of orders 24 hours, 5 days a week.


Promotions

 - Free VPS for clients who maintain a balance (Equity-Credit) USD 5,000 or currency equivalent. No end date for this promotion;

 - $30 Non-Deposit Trading Bonus for new clients only. No end date for this promotion;

 - The two-tier deposit bonus offers 50% deposit bonus up to $500 and 20% deposit bonus up to $5,000. No end date for this promotion;

 - The XM Loyalty Program offers the clients XM Points (XMP) per lot traded. These XMP can be redeemed at any time for credit bonus which can be used for trading purposes only. No end date for this promotion.

 

*Clients registered under Trading Point of Financial Instruments Ltd are not eligible for bonuses. 

 


Deposit/Withdraw Methods


XM accepts the most commonly used Local Payment methods today including Credit/Debit Card, Neteller, Skrill, Bank Wire Transfer, etc. Their coverage is quite extensive and adds more flexibility on adding funds into the account


XM covers all deposit and withdrawal transfer fees for payments made via Neteller, Moneybookers and all major credit cards (including VISA, VISA Electron, MasterCard, Maestro and China UnionPay). Additionally, all deposits and withdrawals above 200 USD processed by wire transfer are also included in our zero fees policy.


Conclusion


XM is a EU award-winning broker that offers wide range of trading products and account types on two great platforms under competitive conditions. What is more, it provides Negative Balance Protection, as well as lucrative bonuses to its clients. To sum up the above, here are the advantages and drawbacks with regards to this broker:

 

Pros  Cons
Well-regulated (FCA, ASIC and CySEC licenses) No significant disadvantages
Negative Balance Protection  
Low trading costs on the Zero account  
MT4 and MT5 available  
Attractive Promotions  
Fast execution speed  

 

Why XM?

- Licensed in UK and Australia
- Tight Spreads from 1 Pip
- Leverage up to 888:1
- Deposit bonus up to 5000 USD
- 24 Hour Support
- No Requotes
- Personal Account Managers
- Automated Trading
- Loyalty Program
- Phone Trading
- Hedging Allowed
- Islamic Account

Registered with

- FSA, UK 
- BaFin, Germany 
- CNMV, Spain
- AFM, Netherlands
- FI, Sweden
- FIN, Finland
- PSZÁF, Hungary
- CONSOB, Italy
- ACP, France
- KNF, Poland

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