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GDAX

GDAX Review
Trader's rating 1
Editor's rating 4

Trading Accounts

 

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Maker Fee Taker Fee
Standard Undisclosed 1:3 0% Up to 0.25%

 

GDAX, which stands for Global Digital Asset Exchange, is a company owned by Coinbase. While some of you may know Coinbase for the ability to purchase Bitcoin directly by Credit Card, GDAX is the other part of the company – the exchange aimed at traders. Trading fees at GDAX are much lower and margin trading is available.

 

The company, security of funds

 

Company Country Regulation
Coinbase USA NY BitLicense

 

As mentioned above GDAX is actually a part of San Francisco – based Coinbase. The company holds the New York BitLicnese, which is by its nature an interesting piece of legislation. The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) attempted to make the city a major Bitcoin trading center, the same way it hosts the world’s largest stock exchange. One may argue the idea backfired, as a lot of the key players backed-out of the 2015 proposal. This is due to the burdensome and slow regulatory procedure. As of the summer of 2017 only three companies have received the license and Coinbase is one of them.

 

When it comes to hacking, a major attack has not struck GDAX or Coinbase. That being the case, there was a “flash crash” in Ethereum prices, which raises suspicion. The coin was trading at around $317, when it suddenly spiked to an alleged value of 10 cents and quickly retraced. The company proceeded to halt trading and later claimed this was merely a “fat finger” - single large trader accidentally placed a market sell order, which triggered a chain of stop-loss orders to be executed. Here is а live video, shot by a trader, who has connected a MetaTrader4 platform to his GDAX account (the interesting thing happens around 2:50):

 

 

The public’s concerns, of course, come from the fact GDAX offers margin trading. The company could have manipulated the price, in order to wipe-out traders who were long. All of this is purely speculation.

 

 

Other than this case, the user reviews for GDAX generally match the ones for Coinbase. One of the major concerns of the fans of decentralization in the cryptoverse, is the fact a lot of the investors behind the project are well-established in the traditional financial sector.

 

Trading conditions

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

Only three crypto currencies are available at GDAX, namelyBitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. Trading is done against USD and EUR, with BTC/GBP also being available, alongside the crypto-crosses ETH/BTC and LTC/BTC.

 

Minimum initial deposit

There is no information on the minimum initial deposit at GDAX, which is not that unusual in the crypto currency sphere. On the other hand, most forex brokers have such a level and disclose it on their websites. For instance the FCA-regulated industry pioneers at IG (who also offer some coins as CFDs) proudly announce they do not have a minimum – you can open an account for as low as you want.

 

Leverage

Margin trading is available on GDAX, with a maximum leverage ratio of 1:3. While this may sound like nothing in comparison to the 1:500, which a lot of forex brokers offer, keep in mind such high levels only apply for fiat currencies, which rarely have price movements bigger than 1-2% per day. 

 

When it comes to crypto, the aforementioned broker IG offers 1:13 in leverage (a 7.5% margin requirement). For a full comparison between crypto-exchanges and forex brokers, who offer Bitcoin trading, read this article.

 

Fees

The costs of trading at GDAX are a lot lower than the ones available at Coinbase. When trading on the exchange, market “makers” (the people who place passive orders and wait for other traders to trigger them) do not pay a fee. Market “takers” (i.e. the “aggressive” traders who directly buy/sell with a market order) pay fees starting from 0.25% and going down for the bigger traders. Both of these levels (especially the free of charge passive trading) are very competitive.

 

Trading platform

 

The platform provided by GDAX, which is web-based, is a lot better than the one offered at Coinbase. That being said, we find the charting lacking when compared to the charts provided by TradigView (which other exchanges have integrated, as well as MetaTrader4, of course. Only a couple of predetermined moving averages are available, in terms of technical indicators. Here is a preview (click to zoom-in):

 

 

The order book is located at the left and the more bizarre design decision to place the “ask” column on top of the “bids” is made. While this may seem strange to experienced traders it does provide a nice graphical representation for beginners. The tape is located to the left, with the middle ground being taken by the chart (which is nothing special) and the open positions tab. 

 

Methods of payment

 

While Coinbase is obviously the main source of clients (and funds) for GDAX, money can also be sent directly to the exchange. This is a massive convenience tool, as accounts can be funded, without the need of paying the hefty Coinbase fees. That being said, Credit/Debit Card deposits can only be made via Coinbase, while GDAX accepts Bank transfers.

 

Conclusion

 

GDAX is a part of Coinbase and more specifically the part of the company, which is targeting more active traders. The fee structure is very competitive, especially with the free market “maker” trades. The selection of trading assets is not great, but the trading platform feels relatively nice (although charting is nothing special). Here is a summary of GDAX: 

 

Pros Cons
New York BitLicense Few altcoins available
Competitive trading fees Suspicion regarding the ETH spike
No major hacks yet  
Accepts Bank Transfers  
Relatively nice trading platform  

 

BDSwiss

BDSwiss Review
Trader's rating 0
Editor's rating 3

Trading Accounts & Conditions

 

Account type Min. deposit Min. trade size Max. leverage

Average spread

Basic  $200 0.01 1:30  1.5 pips
Raw  N/A 0.1 1:30  0.4 pips + $8 /lot
Black  N/A 0.01 1:30  1.1 pips

 

BDSwiss offers trading in wide range of financial instruments – many forex pairs, as well as CFDs on indices, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Its clients are offered access to the popular MetaTrader 4 platform and a choice of three account types – Basic, Raw Spread, and Black. Swap-free services are available for all of them

 

Overall, the trading conditions of BDSwiss seem good – the initial deposit for the Basic account is not high and the spread is on the upper end of average. However, we could not find information on the initial investment amounts for the other two accounts, which offer better spreads. For more information on trading costs in forex trading, check out the below link.

 



>> Compare some of the tightest spreads here <<

 

 

As regards leverage, the maximum level provided by the brokerage is 1:30, in line with the regulations applicable for this Cypriot brokerage. As you probably know, the maximum leverage available to retail investors was capped at 1:30 throughout the EU.

 

 

The Company. Security of Funds

 

Company

Country

Regulation

Bdswiss Holding PLC

Cyprus

CySEC

 

Formally known as Bank De Swiss,  BDSwiss was initially a Cypriot binary options broker, but changed the nature of its offering after this type of trading was banned across the EU in July 2018 (and ESMA keeps renewing the prohibition ever since). The broker is owned by Bdswiss Holding PLC, a Cyprus Investment company operates another forex brokerage brand, Swiss Markets. Firm (CIF), licensed and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC). Now that the UK is about to leave the EU, Cyprus is becoming the most popular destination for European forex broker.  Here are some of the rules which CIFs have to comply with.



First of all, CySEC requires Cyprus-based brokers to hold a minimum of €730 000 in order to prove their good financial standing. Moreover, all CySEC-regulated companies are members of the Investor Compensation Fund, which may cover tour investment loss to a maximum of 20,000 EUR per person in the event that the broker becomes insolvent. Such compensation schemes serve as an additional guarantee to clients’ funds.


In addition, as CySEC is part of the European MiFID regulations, and the companies regulated by the Cypriot financial watchdog are free to operate in all EU Member States. Therefore, they are also required to comply with all the rules and restrictions, introduced on a EU level: the leverage cap which we already discussed, provision of negative balance protection, and ban on trading incentives such as bonuses with trading volume requirements, among other things.

 

 

>> More brokers regulated in Cyprus <<

 

 

BDSwiss also has an offshore entity, BDS Markets Ltd. (Domain bdswiss.com), which is said to service clients outside the European Union Area.

 

 

Trading Platform

 

As we already mentioned, BDSwiss offers the renown MetaTrader 4, delivering a wealth of information in a simple layout, and also allowing clients to automate their trades by Expert Advisors (EA). This is one of the reasons why this platform is so popular among trader. What is more, it offers a great charting package with a number of technical indicators, and extensive back-testing environment. Here you may check out more brokers that support it.

 

 

>> Find the best MT4 brokers <<

 

 

Methods of Payment. Transfer fees

 

Clients of BDSwiss may use credit/debit cards, bank transfers, Sofortüberweisung, Skrill, Neteller, iDEAL, DotPAy, GiroPay, and PostePAy for deposits, and Credit/debit cards, bank transfers, Skrill, and Neteller for withdrawals.

 

With the exception of bank wire transfers, BDSwiss does not require a minimum withdrawal amount. That being said, please note that a 10 EUR fee will apply to any bank wire withdrawals under 100 EUR and any other withdrawals amounting to 20 EUR or less. Bank wire international payments are charged with a 10 EUR basic fee, and the minimum withdrawal amount is 50 EUR. The same fee applies to SEPA transfers, and the minimum withdrawal amount is 5 EUR.

 

 

Conclusion

 

BDSwiss is a Cypriot forex and CFD broker that has more than 7 years of experience in the financial markets. The broker supports the MT4 platform and is duly licensed by CySEC, which is its greatest advantage.

 

To sum up our review on BDSwiss:

Pros

Cons

CySEC license

Leverage capped at 1:30

MT4 available

No info on minimum investment amounts on Raw & Black accounts

Competitive spreads

 

Wide range of financial instruments

 

 

 

 

Headquarters: Makariou III Street 160 3026, Limassol

Country: Cyprus

Regulation: CySec

Forex
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