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FBS

FBS Review
Trader's rating 4
Editor's rating 4.4

Trading Accounts

Account type Minimum deposit Minimum trade size Maximum leverage Average Spreads
Cent $1 0.01 lot 1:1000 2 pips
Standard $100 0.01 lot 1:3000 0.9 pips
Zero Spread $500 0.01 lot 1:3000 0 pips + $20/lot
ECN $1000 0.1 lot 1:500 from -1 pip + $6/lot

 

While most brokers provide several account type options, Clients of FBS are offered a choice of four. All of them offer market execution and the chance to trade in micro lots in Cent account for more precise risk management. Besides, FBS’s clients may choose between variable spreads, commission-free trading and zero spread plus commission.

 

In addition, FBS provides swap-free (Islamic) accounts as well as VIP Services. STP/ECN environment is also available with this broker.

 

Keep in mind that this broker does not provide financial services to residents of Belize, USA and Russia.

 

The Company. Security of Funds

 

Company

Country

Regulation

FBS Markets Inc.

Belize

IFSC

Tradestone Limited

Cyprus

CySEC

 

Established back in 2009, FBS is now a popular international broker which has won numerous awards. It offers its clients competitive trading conditions, wide range of trading accounts, payment methods, a choice of fixed and variable spreads, Metatrader 4 and MetaTrader 5, as well as various promotions.

 

Behind the brand is FBS Markets Inc., a company licensed and regulated by the International Financial Services Commission of Belize (IFSC).IFSC has very liberal control over forex brokers, but still, the regime in Belize is far better than those in other offshore jurisdictions.

 

In 2017 FBS, undertook an important step and got licensed in one of the most popular destinations for forex brokers – Cyprus. Its EU entity Tradestone Limited operates under the regulatory oversight of the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, a.k.a. CySEC.

 

Forex brokers licensed by CySEC must comply with a number of requirements regarding capital adequacy, transaction reporting, clients’ funds segregation, AML policies, etc. Besides, all licensed entities are members of the Investor Compensation Fund, which may cover a maximum of 20,000 EUR per person in the event of broker insolvency.

 

Furthermore, under the MiFID regulations every CySEC-regulated ibroker is entitled to operate throughout the EU and the EEA.  

 

Trading Conditions

 

Minimum Initial Deposit

One may open an account with FBS with just $1 – a symbolically low initial amount. In comparison, FX Choice (which also holds a license from IFSC) requires at least $100 as a minimum for opening an account, but it offers pure STP/ECN environment.

 

Average spreads & Commissions

According to us, the best spreads of FBS are offered on the ECN account type. Spreads on ECN account start from -1 pip (negative spread) and the commission is just $6 per lot.

 

In comparison, Fx Choice offers typical spreads amounting to 0.5 pips on EUR/USD, and commission of $3.86 per lot applies. For further information, you may look up real-time spreads of 15 leading brokers here.

 

Maximum Leverage

The maximum leverage levels available with this broker are among the highest in the industry, reaching 1:3000. While this may sound attractive, especially to traders on a small budget, since it allows them to operate with significantly higher amounts, keep in mind that higher leverage involves greater risk.

We advise traders to exercise caution when using higher leverage levels.

 

Trading Platforms

 

FBS provides its clients with a choice of two trading platforms: Metatradeer 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5).  Both platforms are offered as desktop, web and mobile versions.

 

MetaTrader 4 is the most popular forex trading platform. Equipped wirth a number of technical indicators, advanced charting tools, extensive back-testing environment, and a wide range of Expert Advisors (EA), it is preferred by most traders.  allowing clients to fully automate their trades. MT4 comes in desktop, and mobile versions.

 

As most MT4’s indicators and Expert Advisors (EA) are not supported on the MT5 platform, the latter is still in the shadow of its predecessor. Recently, however, a number of enhancements were made to the MetaTrader 5 and the hedging option was finally added to it and it gains popularity. What is more, Russian developer MetaQuotes announced it will no longer issue updates to the MT4 and will instead concentrate on the MT5.

More brokers using the MT5 can be viewed here.

 

Promotions

FBS runs a variety of promotions. At the time of writing this review the following bonuses are available:

 

- 100% bonus for deposit;

On the first day of each month, you will be able to withdraw as much profit received on the bonus funds as many lots you have traded within the previous month x3.

-Cashback program, allowing traders to receive up to $7 per lot.

 

Methods of Payment

 

FBS offers its clients a wide range of payment methods: credit cards (Visa, Visa Electron, Mastercard), bank wire, Skrill, Neteller, Perfect Money, OKPAY, YuuPay, LaoForexBoard, FBS Asia Exchanger.

 

Conclusion

 

FBS appears to be a decent broker, who has operated for more than 9 years and has won many awards. It offers reasonable conditions for trading in a variety of products through different platforms. Here are, in a nutshell, the advantages and disadvantages of FBS:

 

Pros Cons
   
Variety of platforms, MT4 available  No significant disadvantages
Competitive spreads (especially on ECN accounts)  
Low minimum deposits required  
Variety of promotions  
ECN/STP environment available  

 

Headquarters:  Suite 5, Garden City Plaza, Mountain View Boulevard, BELMOPAN, Belize, C. A.

Country: Belize 

Regulated by: IFSC, CRFIN

Website: www.IdnFBS.com

Bonus:

$5 no deposit bonus!
Open an account and get $5! No deposit required! 

100% Bonus
Get 100% on all deposits

FBS deposit insurance!
With FBS you can be sure that in case you lose your deposit FBS will return it!

FBS MasterCard
Try out advantages of deposit and withdrawal anytime and anywhere with your FBS MasterCard

Super Trader Contest for real accounts
Unlimited prize fund! 30 traders get 10$ for each traded lot and super gadgets.

FBS Pro Demo Contest 
Become a real professional of Forex Market. Prize fund: $1000 each month. 

Bonus for IB 
Every IB gets real funds for every real client acquired.


iPartner
Acquire clients, get points and win super prizes from FBS!

Share your secret of success

If you increased your Bonus $5 10 times and more, share your secret of success and get $7 from FBS!

Self-rebate

Trade with FBS and receive up to $ 15 per transaction additionally!
 

Awards:
 
2015 - Best ECN/STP Forex Broker
2015 - The Best Broker Insurance & Service. Excellent of The Year. 
2014 - Best Broker in Southeast Asia (Forex Report Awards by World Finance)
2014 – Best Broker Asia Pacific (International Finance Magazine)
2014 – Best Forex Brand Asia (Global Brands Magazine) 
2013 - Best Partnership Program (Masterforex-v)
2013 - Best Trading Platform (China Finance Online) 
2013 - Best Forex Broker South-East Asia (World Finance)
2013 - Best Broker in Asian Region (Forex Expo)
2012 - Best MT4 Platform (9th China (Guangzhou) International Investment & Finance Expo)
2012 - Best Forex Broker Asia (World Finance Awards)
2012 - Fastest Growing Forex Broker Asia (Global Banking and Finance Review)
2011 - Best Mini Forex Broker (World Finance Awards)
2010 - Best Mini Forex Broker (ShowFX World)
 

 

Bitstamp

Bitstamp Review
Trader's rating 1
Editor's rating 3.9

Our Experience

We registered an account at Bitstamp and after confirming the ID, we decided to make a credit card deposit. What first stroke us, was the fact you can only directly buy Bitcoin via credit card, instead of simply transferring funds to your account. The purchase went fine, after dealing with an external payment services provider. We immediately sold the coins, in order to have a USD trading balance. At that point we realized the 8% fee on credit card transfers (at the time, now the fee is 5%) truly applies.

 

Later on, we traded with the platform and everything felt fine. While the speed of execution was slightly lower than the one provided by most forex trading platforms, it was still pretty decent. The order book seemed to have some trading robots, which moved the best bids/asks constantly, but this didn’t hinder trading at all.


We also made a SEPA Bank transfer to this exchange. The funds arrived less than 24 hours later and the only fees we paid were the ones charged by our local bank.

 

We ended up having some Litecoin, which we transferred to Bittrex, in order to continue our journey in the world of altcoins. Additionally, we left some Ethereum, which we sent to a newly created wallet at MyEtherWallet – a wallet, which allows users to control their private keys. All of these blockchain transactions, which are external to Bitstamp happened in minutes. We are yet to test the speed of bank transfer withdrawals, from this exchange.

 

Trading Accounts

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Fee
Standard Undisclosed N/A 0.25%*

*Fees can go lower for bigger traders

 

Bitstamp is one of the few cryptocurrency exchanges which accepts deposits directly from traditional payment methods. In essence this service can be used to obtain Bitcoin (via a bank transfer or credit card) which you are then free to send.

 

The company, security of funds

Company Country Regulation
Bitstamp Ltd. Luxembourg CSSF

 

Bitstamp Ltd. is the company behind this project. They have offices in Luxembourg, London and New York. More importantly, this is the first fully licensed cryptocurrency exchange in Europe. It is regulated by the (Luxembourg Financial Industry Supervisory Commission, known as the CSSF). As we often warn against the risks involved in dealing with unregulated or off-shore forex brokers, it is nice to see a company in the cryptoverse, which is registered with a watchdog.

 

The CSSF Licensing ensures the company periodically files reports with the appropriate agencies. Bitstamp is registered as a “Payment institution”, which implies you can be sure about the real-money transfers you send to (and receive from them). That being said we don’t know if mandatory policies on fairness of execution are in place. No matter the case, this is much more than, what most other crypto-exchanges provide in terms of regulation.

 

Bitstamp was hacked in early 2015. Afterwards the company rebuild its entire trading platform. Nowadays they claim to store 98% of their client’s cryptocurrencies on cold storage, while only 2% are directly available on the exchange. This is a major improvement in terms of security.

 

Bitstamp partnered with Swissquote, in July 2017.  The Swiss bank and broker, decided to trust this company, in order to provide Bitcoin trading to its clients. This speaks volumes in terms of Bitstamp’s credibility. At the time of writing of this review, there is no integration with the MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform. Trading is instead done on the Swissquote’s website, with limited functionality. This is bound to change in the future. 

 

The user reviews for Bitstamp are fairly mixed. There are lots of satisfied customers and people claiming dissatisfaction with the support. Similarly to Poloniex, the company may be experiencing more significant traffic than expecting, but the negative comments are not that harsh. 

 

Trading conditions

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

Bitstamp allows trading cryptocurrencies against the old-fashioned EUR and USD. On the other hand few coins are supported, namely Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple. If you want to dive into more exotic altcoins, you can use Bitstamp as a way to convert your cash into one of these three and then transfer it to a different exchange which supports your preferred altcoin.

 

Minimum initial deposit

There is no information on the minimum deposit at Bitstamp. While this is not that unusual, when dealing with cryptocurrencies, the company does accept traditional payments. There may be a level below, which they would not accept your transfer. We are used to forex brokers disclosing their minimum entry levels beforehand, like easyMarkets, who require $100.

 

Leverage

Margin trading is not available at Bitstamp. For those of you who do not know what margin trading is – this is a mechanism by which you trade with more buying power than the money you have in your account. When it comes to froex brokers, they allow substantial leverage levels, like 1:500, meaning you can trade with positions worth 500 times more than your investment. The catch is your account serves as a guarantee, and if you start loosing, there will be a point at which your positions will be closed (this is known as receiving a margin call, followed by a margin stop-out).

 

Fees

The commissions, charged by Bitstamp go as high as 0.25% for cash to cryptocurrency trades (for the lowest volumes). As is the practice with most other exchanges, they go lower with bigger volumes. The unusual aspect of this offering is that there is no incentive for the market “makers” (people who place orders on the exchange, instead of aggressively buying from the ones which other traders have placed). Most cryptocurrency exchange provide an ever so slightly lower fee for traders who provide liquidity.

 

Comparing this to the spreads provided by forex brokers is rather hard, as we have mentioned in our general comparison of the two type of service providers. On the other hand, Bitstamp’s fees are in-line with what other cypto-exchanges are offering.

 

 

Trading platform

 

Bitstamp’s trading platform is web-based. This is the norm with most cryptocurrency exchanges, unlike the situation with forex brokers, where downloadable software (like MT4) is prevalent. At first glance Bitstamp’s trading platform looks solid. A big emphasis is placed on charting, with a nice package. It feels pretty similar to cTrader, although it lacks a lot of the functionality. Lots of technical indicators and tools are available, but most forex trading platforms still provide even more options. That being said Bitsatmp’s offer is better that what we have seen at a lot of other crupto-exchanges. Here is a preview of the charting (click to zoom-in):

 

 

The order book is located below the chart and is one of the best ones available (at such exchanges). Here is a screenshot (click to zoom-in):

 

 

It was clearly designed by someone with trading experience as the bid and ask price are next to each other, where the two tables meet (on the left). This allows for a quick and easy comparison of the market depth, although the size of the orders (outer columns) must also be taken into account.

 

Methods of payment

 

Bitstamp accepts payments via Bank Transfer, Credit/Debit Card and cryptocurrencies. There are some specifics regarding the bank transfers, with EU clients being more easily accepted via the SEPA System. While this system is relatively faster than traditional bank transfers, it may come at higher fees (depending on your bank). On the other hand Credit Card transfers, while instant, come with an 8% fee. That being said, virtually anybody can transfer fiat currencies to this exchange. This feature is probably their biggest advantage over others.

 

Conclusion

 

Bitstamp is the first regulated European cryptocurrency exchange. The company keeps 98% of customer’s coins on cold storage wallets, which is a pretty good security measure. Bitstamp is one of the relatively few exchanges who accept deposits by Credit Card and Bank Transfer. Three of the major coins are traded directly against EUR and USD. On the other hand the exchange offers few alternative coins. In essence this is a great gateway for those who are new to the world of cryptocurrencies. Here is a summary Bitstamp’s strong and weak sides:

 

Pros Cons
Luxembourg licensing Few altcoins available
Accepts Bank Transfers and Credit Cards Was hacked in 2015
Competitive commissions 5% fee on credit card purchases
Relatively nice trading platform  
98% of coins kept in cold storage  

 

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