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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  

 

FxPro

FxPro Review
Trader's rating 3.6
Editor's rating 4.5

Trading Accounts

 

Account type/Platform Minimum deposit Minimum trade size Maximum leverage Average Spreads Execution type
MT4
 
$100
 
0.01
 
1:500
 
fixed 1.6 pips
variable 1.4 pips
Instant
market
MT5 $100 0.01 1:500 1.4 pips  Market
cTrader $100 0.01 1:500 0.3 pips +$4.5* Market

 

*Commission is calculated per standard lot of 100 000 currency base units (per side).

 

Depending on the trading platform used, FxPro offers three basic account types – MT4, MT5, and cTrader (NDD). All three account types offer dynamic leverage up to 1:500 and micro tradeable lots.

 

Besides, FxPro offers its in-house built FxPro Markets platform.

 

In addition, the brokerage provides swap-free (Islamic) accounts to clients of the Muslim faith, as well as VIP services to high-net-worth individuals and those actively trading large volumes.

 

VIP clients benefit from free VPS service, no deposit fees, and receive trade recommendations, exclusive news reports and margin level alerts via email and SMS.

 

Trading Conditions

 

Minimum initial deposit

In order to open an account with FxPro, one has to invest $100, however the recommended minimum initial deposit is $500.

 

Spreads & Commission

FxPro offers a choice of fixed and variable spreads, commission-free (MT4 & MT5) and commission-involving (cTrader) accounts on an array of platforms.

 

In fact, the broker’s fixed spreads are quite good - 1.6 pips on EUR/USD, while most fixed-spread brokers provide such of 2 pips. FxPro’s variable spreads, on the other hand, are average – typical ones are around 1.4 (MT4 & MT5) or 1.2 pips (FxPro Markets) for the EUR/USD pair on commission-free accounts. The tightest spreads with this broker are available on cTrader accounts - 0.3 pips, however if we add the commission of $9 round trip, average trading costs per standard lot traded amount to around 1.2 pips.

 

In comparison, another major UK broker, IG, offers average spreads of 0.2 pips on its DMA accounts, where a commission of $5 per side per standard lot applies. For further information, you can check out the real-time spreads of 15 leading brokers here.

 

Maximum leverage

FxPro offers comparatively high leverage levels – up to 1:500. Despite the fact that such leverage levels are considered high, many other brokers offer leverage up to 1:500 or higher. In comparison, IG offers leverage up to 1:200.

 

In order to control the risk associated with it, the broker utilizes a dynamic forex leverage model on the MT4 and MT5 platforms, which automatically adapts to clients trading positions:

 

 

The Company

 

FxPro is an award-winning pure NDD broker that offers trading in on a range of instruments, including currency pairs, shares, spot indices, futures, spot metals and spot energies, on a selection of trading platforms. It provides its clients with access to top-tier liquidity, excellent trading conditions and the highest level of customer protection possible, including negative balance protection.  

 

What is more, FxPro demonstrates a long-term commitment to transparency, as it regularly publishes trades execution statistics (slippage & requotes data). This brokerage is excellent choice for both savvy and novice traders. Beginners can take advantage of the broker's educational resources – video tutorials, webinars, live hangouts, etc. For more advanced traders, there are additional analytical tools like Trading Central and Autochartist. 

 

FxPro is the collective brand name of FxPro UK Ltd., an entity regulated by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and FxPro Financial Services Ltd., which is licensed by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and the Financial Services Board (FSB) of South Africa. In October, 2017 the broker was granted a license to operate in the UAE from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).

 

Company

Country

Regulation

FxPro UK Limited

UK

FCA

FxPro Financial Services Ltd

Cyprus

CySEC

FxPro Financial Services Limited

South Africa

FSB

 

Security of funds

 

Both FCA and CySEC apply certain rules and requirements to regulated firms, thus ensuring a good level of credibility. Cypriot and UK brokers must hold at least €730 000 in order to prove their good financial standing, and 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 clients of authorized 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. 

 

What is more, FxPro Financial Services Limited is also licensed by the Financial Services Board (FSB) as a Financial Services Provider. South Africa is lately gaining popularity as a forex broker destination.

 

Trading platforms

 

FxPro supports MT4, MT5, cTrader and proprietary FxPro Markets platform.

 

FxPro Markets is the latest addition to the broker’s suite of trading platforms, available for web and mobile devices. It is a comprehensive, all-in-one trading solution, enabling clients to create and manage their trading accounts, deposit funds, and trade the markets, etc.

 

In spite of the number of improvements made to MT5 lately (and most importantly the hedging option added to it), MetaTrader 4 is still preferred by most brokers and experienced traders. That is why most brokers support it. MT4 provides an advanced charting package, lots of technical indicators, extensive back-testing environment and a variety of Expert Advisors (EAs).

 

MT4’s successor, MetaTrader 5, allows the execution of orders in several financial markets and stock exchanges through a single trading account. This platform also features advanced charting package, trading and analysis tools, alerts, signals, and customizable indicators. 

 

Last but not least, FxPro offers access to cTrader platform, which is custom-made for use in NDD environment.  cTrader is fast, easy to use and provides pricing transparency and tight spreads.  The cTrader suite includes a PC, web and mobile versions, as well as automated trading software cAlgo.

 

FxPro provides ultrafast execution: 99.9% of orders executed within 50ms. In addition, its clients may run their MT4 Expert Advisors or cAlgo robots on the Virtual Private Server, without even needing to keep their trading terminal running.

 

Payment methods

 

Clients of FxPro Financial Services Limited are offered a wide range of payment methods: Bank transfer, Credit/Debit Card (including Visa, Visa Electron, Visa Delta, MasterCard, Maestro International, Maestro UK), PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, China UnionPay, mPay, FasaPay (for Indonesian clients), Webmoney (for Russian clients), Moneta, Boleto (for Brazilian customers), Netbanx (for Chinese customers), eProtections (for Japanese customers).

 

Clients of FxPro UK Limited may use only Bank transfer and Credit/Debit Card.

 

Withdrawals are proceeded by the broker’s Client Accounting Department within 1 working day.

 

Conclusion

 

FxPro is one of the most prominent names in the forex industry. The broker operates as a Hybrid Agency Model broker, offering Negative Balance Protection and enabling clients to access top-tier liquidity, wide range of trading platforms and financial instruments with lightning-fast execution. It is well-regulated and extremely reliable with its long-term commitment to transparence. Here are, in a nutshell, the advantages and disadvantages with regards to this broker:

 

Pros Cons
Strong regulation  No major disadvantages
Negative balance protection  
Multiple trading platforms offered  
Competitive spreads & pricing  
High leverage levels offered  
Pure NDD brokerage  
Fast execution speed  

 

 

Headquarters: Karyatidon 1, Ypsonas 4180, Cyprus

Tel: +357 25 969 222; Fax: +357 25 969 269; 
Email: [email protected];

Country: Cyprus, UK

Regulated by: FxPro Financial Services Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission under the license number 078/07

FxPro UK Ltd (a subsidiary of FxPro Financial Services Limited) is authorised and regulated by the FSA (Registration No 509956) 

Website: FxPro.co.uk

Forex
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