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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  

 

FBS

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

Trading Accounts

Account type Minimum deposit Minimum trade size Maximum leverage Spreads
Cent $1 0.01 lot 1:1000 from 1 pips
Standard $100 0.01 lot 1:3000 from 0.5 pips
Zero Spread $500 0.01 lot 1:3000 0 pips + $20/lot
Micro $5 0.01 lot 1:3000 fixed, from 3 pips
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 three trading platforms: Metatradeer 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5) and mobile trading platform by FBS.  All 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:

 

- Welcome trade 100$ bonus

- 100% bonus for deposit;

- 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)
 

 

Forex
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