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easyMarkets

easyMarkets Review
Trader's rating 5
Editor's rating 3

Trading Accounts

  

Account type   Minimum deposit  Minimum trade size Maximum leverage Spreads
Standard $100 0.05 1:400 3 pips*
VIP $5000 0.1 1:400 1 pip

 

*Those Standard account holders who deposit $250 or more, get VIP spreads.

 

easyMarkets offers its clients two trading accounts to choose from, available on two platforms – the good old MetaTrader 4 and the broker’s proprietary web-based platform. Both account types offer commission-free trading, fixed spreads and leverage up to 1:400. Micro lots are available for trade only to Standard account holders.

 

There are a number of features available solely to VIP account holders, such as Personal Market Analyst, Loyalty Rebates, Express Withdrawals, Free trading signals, Free Breaking news, SMS Alerts, etc.

 

If you don’t need such extras or simply don’t want to invest 5 thousand bucks, you can get VIP spreads on your Standard account by depositing $250.

 

Islamic (swap-free) accounts compliant with the Sharia law are also available to clients who don’t want to earn interest for religious reasons.

 

The Company. Security of Funds

 

Company

Country

Regulation

Easy Forex Trading Ltd.

Cyprus

CySEC

EasyMarkets PTY Ltd.

Australia

ASIC

 

easyMarkets (previously Easy-Forex) is the trading name of Easy Forex Trading Ltd. – a Cyprus-based brokerage, established back in 2003. It provides its services in over 160 countries worldwide, offering trading in 175 products ranging from currencies, CFDs on indices commodities, metals and Bitcoin, as well as options and forward contracts. 

 

Easy Forex Trading Ltd, doing business as easyMarkets, is licensed and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC, license No 079/07), and its Australian subsidiary - EasyMarkets PTY Ltd. - is authorized and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).


CySEC applies certain rules to license holders, one of them being the requirement such firms to hold a minimum capital in order to conduct their business operations legitimately. The Commission requires Cyprus-based forex brokers to hold at least €730 000. As regulation of financial services providers usually involves such a requirement, Australian brokers are obliged to hold a minimum of $1,000,000 by ASIC.


Furthermore, the Cypriot financial watchdog applies a compensation scheme as additional guarantee to clients’ funds. All CySEC-regulated companies are members of the Investor Compensation Fund, the compensation fund of last resort for customers of authorized financial services firms. If the Company becomes insolvent or ceases trading, it is able to pay compensation to its covered clients, amounting to a maximum of 20,000 EUR.


Unlike many other EU-based brokers, Australian ones are not covered by any compensation scheme.

 

Focus on client protection 

 

 

 

 

easyMarkets is a broker that places a special focus on client protection. Apart from offering tight fixed spreads, which do not widen during news releases, easyMarkets is one of the few brokers that provide Negative Balance Protection. This means that you can never lose more funds than you have deposited, even though you are trading on margin.

 

Besides, it allows forex traders to cancel losing trades via its state-of-the-art feature dealCancellation, available on its in-house platform.

 

Trading Conditions

  

Minimum initial deposit

In order to open an account with easyMarkets, one has to deposit at least $100, which is a reasonable and competitive minimum initial deposit.

 

Spreads & Commissions

This broker offers fixed spreads, which allows traders to predetermine their costs. What is more, no commission fees are charged, as the broker generates revenues through the bid-ask spread paid by traders on each transaction.

 

Although fixed spreads generally tend to be wider that variable ones, this is not the case with easyMarkets – their spreads amount to 1 pips on EUR/USD and are accessible with a deposit of $250. In comparison, Exness and Plus500 (also regulated by CySEC) offer fixed spreads amounting to 2 pips for this currency pair.

 

Leverage

The maximum leverage level offered by this broker is 1:400, which is considered comparatively high, as CySEC has recently proposed the default leverage provided by brokers to be 1:50. The reason for such leverage limitations is that higher leverage involves higher risk of heavy losses. Nonetheless, many Cyprus-based brokers offer high leverage levels: XM – up to 1:888, FXTM – up to 1:500.

 

Trading Platforms

 

Clients of easyMarkets may choose from the broker’s proprietary web-based platform and the popular Metatrader 4 (MT4).

 

easyMarkets’ in-house platform offers advanced charts, live market news, technical analysis and sentiment all in one screen, one click trading (from the Market Explorer).

 

What is more, platform users get free Guaranteed stop loss and dealCancellation option, which are indeed two great risk management tools.

 

 

easyMarkets’ in-house web platform. Click to enlarge

 

 

In addition, easyMarkets offers the powerful MT4, allowing traders to fully automate their operations by choosing from a wide range of Expert Advisors (EA) and let the program do all the work. This is one of the reasons this platform to be preferred by most traders. Besides, it offers a number of useful technical indicators, extensive back-testing and advanced charting package, which includes the option to trade straight from the chart. Here is a list of more forex brokers offering MT4 platform.

 

Bonuses & Promotions

By the time of writing this review, there are two promotions offered (effective until March 31, 2016)

-        - First deposit bonus on initial deposit ranging from 30% to 50% (up to $2 000);

-         - Refer-a-friend bonus from $25 to $500 for new clients who deposit at least $250. 

 

Methods of Payment

 

easyMarkets offers a variety of payment methods, including credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, Visa electron), bank transfer and e-wallet systems, such as, Skrill, Neteller, WebMoney, SoFortüberweisung, American Express, Giropay, Ideal and UnionPay.

 

For withdrawals to credit/debit cards and eWallets there is no minimum withdrawal amount. For withdrawals to bank accounts, a minimum amount of USD 50 is required. All deposits and withdrawals with easyMarkets are commission-free.

 

Conclusion

 

easyMarkets is a well-regulated broker that offers trading in wide range of financial products products worldwide through both its proprietary platforms and the industry’s standard MT4. This is a broker that places a special focus on client protection. To sum up the above, here are the advantages and drawbacks with regards to this broker: 

  

 

Pros

Cons

Well-regulated

No significant disadvantages

Tight fixed spreads, no commission fees

 

Variety of trading platforms offered, MT4 available

 

Negative balance protection, option to cancel losing trades

 

Promotions available

 

 

Headquarters: P.O.Box 53742, Limassol 3317
 

Country: Cyprus

 

Regulated by: CySEC – License Number 079/07

Gemini

Gemini Review
Trader's rating 1
Editor's rating 3.8

Account types

 

Account type

Minimum deposit

Leverage

Fees

Standard

Undisclosed

N/A

Max of 0.25%

 

Gemini is a relatively simple cyptocurrency exchange. It offers a few instruments, but on the other hand accepts USD bank transfers as a method of payment. There is also a more specific type of trading – auctions, which we will get to later on in the review, 

 

The company, security of funds

 

 

Company

Country

Regulation

Gemini Trust Company, LLC.

USA

US Trust regulation

 

Gemini is a brand owned by t Gemini Trust Company, LLC. They are regulated by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYSDFS), but not under its infamous BitLicense, but simply as a trust. This assures some consumer confidence, while avoiding the hassle with the unpopular piece of legislation. If you are not familiar with the case, the aforementioned New York regulators wanted to create a licensing system for crypto exchanges. The idea was to make the Big Apple a major cryptocurrency trading centre, just how it is in traditional finance. That being the case the project wasn’t appreciated by most of the companies in the field, as a lot of them didn’t apply for it. Those who argue this makes it basically useless are backed by the rate at which licensing was given to the companies who did apply. At the time of writing of this review, two years since the legislation came into effect, only three companies have been granted the license.

 

The name Gemin comes from the owners of the company, the Winkelvoss twins. While they may be most famous for suing Facebook creator Mark Zukerberg over their idea for a social networking site, they also have interest in the crypto-space. It is worth pointing out, the famous rowers were also involved in Bitinstant, a company which was involved in facilitating transfers for drug deals. The brothers claimed they were only passive investors and were not aware of the operations. 

 

When it comes to security, Gemini hasn’t experienced any large-scale hacks yet. This is generally a good sign, although it does not guarantee anything for the future.

 

The user reviews on the company aren’t that many, which can be explained by the fact it doesn’t operate in the entire world. Here is a map of all of the regions, which they support (click to zoom-in):

 

 

That being the case most of the complaints are focused on slow account verification.

 

The most unique feature of Gemini are the auctions, which are held twice a day. The way they function is similar to the ones which occur at the opening and closing transactions on stock exchanges (not to be confused with “the highest bidder wins the item” auctions). This is where relatively big, in terms of volume, transactions are usually made. Traders can place buy or sell orders which are then matched at a single price. While of of this is happening, trading on Gemini still occurs. This creates an interesting dynamic, just like it does on the New York Stock Exchange – after seeing the pending orders for the auction (known as the “imbalance”) traders can speculate on them moving the market in the short term. For instance, if a relatively large buying imbalance is placed, most will expect the price to rally. That being said, this type of trading is very risky, as new orders may come to meet the imbalance, even in the last second. Furthermore the initial imbalance creator may have set a limit price for his order, above (in the case of buying) he does not want to participate. Trading on imbalances is tricky and while some traders used to enjoy doing so on the NYSE, they can all tell you stories about times when they lost a lot of money on a last second turnaround. This is definitely not recommended for beginners.

 

 

Trading conditions

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

The trading instruments available at Gemini are only Bitcoin and Ethereum. Both coins can be traded against the US dollar and against each other. Obviously, this is limiting, but clients who wish to pursue altcoins can always transfer their BTC or ETH to an external wallet or another exchange, like Bittrex.

 

Minimum initial deposit

Gemini does not mention any minimum initial deposit, unlike the majority of forex brokers, which we mostly cover. In that industry, it is quite common for a company to specify an amount, below which one can’t open a new trading account. The levels are fairly low now, with FXCM requiring $50, for instance.

 

Leverage

Margin trading is not available at Gemini. More aggressive clients will not appreciate this fact, although there is enough volatility in cryptocurrencies already. The forex brokers who offer Bitcoin trading, provide leverage. As an example the FCA-regulated industry pioneers at IG have a 1:13.3 ratio (7.5% margin requirement) for Bitcoin trading.

 

Fees

Gemini offers relatively competitive fees. The maximum is in line the current industry standard of 0.25%, with discounts for bigger trading volume. On top of that, fees are lower for market “makers” (traders who passively place their orders in the book). The fees actually turn into rebates above a certain point in volume (only for "makers"). As a comparison, forex brokers usually condense all of their fees in the spread. This makes comparing the two types of services a bit tricky, although we have done so in this post.

 

Trading platform 

 

The platform provided by Gemini is web-based and rather simplistic, with the order book being the main focus. Here is a preview:

 

 

We must note this is an old screenshot, which wasn’t taken by us, due to the restrictions on accepting clients. That being said, the platform may have been improved in the meantime.

 

Methods of payment

 

Gemini accepts Bank Transfers as well as Bitcoin or Ethereum ones. Not a lot of exchanges accept bank transfers nowadays, with the major two ones being Coinbase and Bitstamp.

 

Conclusion

 

Gemini is a US-based crypto currency exchange. The company is registered as a trust, which should give investors a bit more confidence, when compared to a lot of other entities in the crypto-space. The people behind the company are the Winkelvoss twins, which you may be familiar with. Gemini offers little variety, in terms of the trading instruments, but accepts bank transfers. The company operates in a relatively small number of countries. The Auctions which they offer are a neat idea, but most traders will probably not feel the need to use them. Here are the pros and cons of Gemini :

 

Pros

Cons

Regulated US trust

Operates in a few countries

Commissions in line with the industry

Trading platform looks simplistic

Auctions available

Only BTC and ETH available

Accepts bank transfers (from some countries)

 

 

 

Forex
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