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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  

 

QRYPTOS

QRYPTOS Review
Trader's rating 2.1
Editor's rating 3.8

Trading accounts

 

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Maker Fee Taker Fee
Standard Undisclosed Unknown -0.075% 0.15%

QRYPTOS is the second brand operated by QUOINE (with QUOINEX being the main product they are famous for). While this may seem curious to those who aren't familiar with the crypto space, there is a simple reason for running two companies – they offer different services. Their first project is aimed at cash to cryptocurrency transactions, while QRYPTOS focuses on exchanging one digital asset for another. The situation is very similar to the one at Coinbase and GDAX.

 

 

The company, security of funds

 

Company Country Regulation
QUOINE Pte. Ltd Japan/Singapore/Vietnam JFSA

 

QRYPTOS is owned QUOINE Pte. Ltd., a company with offices in Japan, Singapore and Vietnam.  When it comes to their viability as an exchange, they are regulated by the Japanese Financial Services Agency (JFSA). This is more than what most competitors in the crypto-space can claim.

 

QUOINE was founded in 2014 and their latest project, QRYPTOS is even younger. A lot of its features, like the mobile apps are still under development. We will update this review, once major changes occur. 

 

Substantial hacks have not yet occurred at either of the companies operated by QUOIN. That being said, we must mention the most notable case of a technical issue, experienced by the parent company. One of their largest traders (the firm B2C2) made a $3.7 million profit, after allegedly “exploiting a glitch” in the QUOINEX trading software. The transaction(s) were later reverted, leading to a lawsuit. Not much is known about the details of this event. For the sake of clarity we must mention, this whole saga happened before the company received the JFSA regulatory approval.

 

As the QRYPTOS project is fairly new, there also aren't that many user reviews.

 

Trading conditions

 

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

Quite a few coins are available at QRYPTOS. The full list includes Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Ripple, Litecoin, Ethereum Classic, Monero, Zcahs, Sellar, Dash, Augur and NEM (13 trading pairs in total). While the selection isn't as big as the one provided by Bittrex, for instance, it is still very solid.

 

Minimum initial deposit

We didn't have information about the minimum deposit at QRYPTOS. On the other hand, forex brokers usually provide this freely. As an example, one of the world's leading FCA-regulated brokers (which also offers Bitcoin and Ethereum trading) IG doesn't have an entry bar. One can open an account with the company for as little as she wants. For a full comparison of the two different services, read this post.

 

 

Leverage

There is no information on the leverage available at QRYPTOS. The company’s other brand QUOINEX offers a 1:25 ratio, but a lot fewer products (and a different fee structure, more on that later). We are unaware if this functionality will be integrated with QRYPTOS. Keep in mind, cryptocurrencies tend to be a lot more volatile than traditional ones, where forex brokers offer amazing leverage levels, such as 1:500.

 

 

Fees

The main way of attracting volume to the QRYPTOS exchange is the fee structure. While a lot of exchanges offer slightly better conditions for market makers, going into negative territory I.e. paying rebates for providing volume is usually reserved for the big traders. QRYPTOS offers a 0.075% rebate for everybody who provides liquidity on their platform. The taker fee is a very competitive 0.15%. In effect the company is giving 50% of its profit to the passive traders.

 

Before you think, you can become a liquidity provider at QRYPTOS and make money without taking any risk, we will have to clarify how exchanges work. A market “maker” (not to be confused with a forex market maker) is a trader who places pending orders on the exchange, hence filling the “order book”. A taker is anybody who sends a market order, entering directly at the best possible price. If you decide to be a liquidity provider, who simply aims to profit from the buying and selling of others, you will still be taking a significant market risk. Whenever a swift market move occurs, your will be taking the other side. On top of that the field is very competitive, with a lot of algo players.

 

Trading platform

 

The platform provided by QRYPTOS is web-based, with mobile apps promised for the future. Traders can fully customise the layout to their preference, but the main limitation of browser platforms still applies – everything must be in the same window. When it comes to the charting, one can choose between the charts provided by either TradingView or Cryptowatch. Here is a preview of the default layout:

 

 

As you can see from the picture, the charts aren’t properly configured yet, or the trading activity is rather minimal. Additionally they have maintained one of the features from QRYPTOEX, which we didn’t like – the order book is still placed vertically. As far as our tinkering with the platform, we couldn’t find a way to make it appear better. That being said, this still a fairly new project, so such things should not be surprising. 

 

Methods of payment

QRYPTOS only accepts cryptocurrency transfers. They are possible in all of the coins, which the company supports. On top of that, you can use your QUOINEX account as a means of depositing money with the company.

 

 

Conclusion

QRYPTOS is the second brand operated by the JFSA-regulated company QUOINEX. While their initial project QUOINEX is oriented towards attracting new people to the cryptocurrency space, this one is for the more experienced traders. With 13 trading pairs this exchange offers some alternatives, but is by no means an altocoin heaven. The entire QRYPTOS project is still in its early days, and we will update this review, once more information is available.

 

Pros Cons
JFSA Regulation Not enough user feedback yet
No major hacks yet Not that many altcoins available 
Competitive commissions (including rebates) The order book is placed vertically (as in QUOINEX)
Customizable trading platform   
Several trading instruments  

 

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