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HF Markets (Hot Forex)

HF Markets (Hot Forex) Review
Trader's rating 4
Editor's rating 4.2

Trading Accounts

 

Account type Minimum deposit  Minimum trade size Maximum leverage  Average Spreads 
Micro  $50 0.01 1:1000  1.2 pip on EUR/USD
Premium $500 0.01 1:400 1.2 on EUR/USD
Fixed $500 0.01 1:400 1.8 pip on EUR/USD
Zero $100  0.01 1:200  0.1 pips on EUR/USD + commission $4 per lot traded (per side)
Currenex $500 0.01 1:400 0.2 pips on EUR/USD + commission $5.00 per lot traded (per side)
VIP $20,000  0.01 1:300 0.2 pips on EUR/USD + commission $6.00 per lot traded round turn

 

In order to suit the needs of traders of all preferences and levels of experience, HotForex offers its clients a variety of account types to choose from. You may choose from fixed and floating spreads, commission-free trading (in Micro, Premium and Fixed accounts) or tighter spreads, involving commission fees. Beginners can sign up for Micro accounts with as little as $5, and micro lots are available for trade on all accounts.


Apart from the above mentioned account types, HotForex offers 2 more copy trading ones: an Auto Account, enabling traders to subscribe to free and paid Trading Signals from the MQL5 Community, (built-in to the MT4 trading terminal); and HF Social, which provides trading powered by FxStat.


What is more, swap-free (Islamic) accounts are available with minimum initial deposit $150, designated for clients who are not willing to earn interest for religious reasons.


The Company. Security of Funds

 

Company Country Regulation
HF Markets (Europe) Ltd Cyprus CySEC
HF Markets (UK) Ltd UK FCA
HF Markets SA (DIFC) Ltd UAE DFSA

 

HotForex is a retail forex broker, offering attractive conditions for trading in a wide range of instruments, including Forex, Spot Metals and CFDs on commodities, indices and popular shares such as Google, Apple and Facebook.

 

HotForex is a brand name of a group of companies, operating in different jurisdictions. The most reliable is HF Markets (Europe) Ltd., a Cypriot Investment Firm (CIF), registered in the European Union and licensed by Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC).

 

The broker also holds licenses from UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the South African regulator, as well as from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA). The HF Markets group also includes operates two offshore units (HF Markets Ltd., registered in Mauritius, and HF Markets (SV) Ltd., incorporated in St. Vincent & the Grenadines). 


Cyprus is currently one of the most attractive forex broker destinations and probably the main reason for this is its well-balanced regulation. Tough regulation with high entry capital requirements and low maximum leverage has reduced competition in the United States and Japan, while light touch regulation affects credibility and safety.


CySEC applies certain rules and requirements to Cyprus Investment Firms, which are not as stringent as those in the US, for instance, however they provide a certain level of credibility. Cypriot Investment Firms must hold at least €1,000,000 in order to prove their good financial standing. Besides, they are required to keep customer funds in segregated accounts, separated from the company’s operating funds.


As a further guarantee to clients’ funds, all CySEC-regulated companies are members of the Investor Compensation Fund, which is able to pay compensation up to 20,000 EUR, If the company is in default.


Additionally, every CySEC- regulated investment company is also MiFID compliant and therefore entitled to offer cross-border services within the EU under the MiFID Passporting Regime. This also means that they have to meet all requirements for financial servoces provider set on a EU level, such as to provide negative balance protection to their clients, not to offer trading incentives which expose their clients to additional risk, and more.


Trading Conditions


Minimum Initial Deposit

In order to open an account with HotForex, traders have to invest a minimum of $5. Such minimum initial amount is comparatively low, however, many Cyprus-based brokers require even less. For instance, FXTM and XM demand just $5 from their clients as a start.


Spreads & Commissions
This broker offers both floating and fixed spreads. Fixed ones are comparatively low, amounting to 1.8 pips on EUR/USD. In comparison, Easy-forex offers fixed spreads amounting to 1.8 pips on VIP accounts only.


As regards floating spreads with HotForex, typical ones on commission-free accounts amount to 1.2 pips on EUR/USD, which is average. According to us, the conditions on the Zero account are the most attractive ones: spreads averaged 0.1 pips on EUR/USD and commission $4 per 1.00 lot traded (per side), so basically trading costs amount to around 0.9 pips, commission included. And you can open a Zero account with just $100.


For purposes of comparison, average variable spreads on Exness’ commission-free accounts amount to 0.9 pips on EUR/USD, while ECN account holders are offered average spreads of 0.4 pips on EUR/USD with $5 commission per standard lot.


Leverage
The maximum leverage with HotForex is high, reaching 1:1000. Some jurisdictions cap leverage ratios at considerably lower levels (1:50 in the USA, 1:100 in Poland).


The reason for such leverage limitations is that the higher leverage, the higher the risk of losses, which may even exceed initial investments. However, many Cyprus-based brokers offer leverage levels, similar to the ones provided by HotForex (XM – up to 1:888), or even higher – Exness offers leverage up to 1:2000. More FX brokers offering leverage equal to or exceeding 1:500 may be vewed here.


Trading Platforms


This broker supports both MetaQuotes' plaforms: the standard  MetaTrader4 (MT4) and the latest MetaTrader 5.

 

MT4 is an internationally acclaimed trading terminal, offering a full spectrum of trading tools and resources: built-in technical indicators, advanced charting package, a wide range of Expert Advisors (EAs) and extensive back-testing options for them. Traders can download ready-made or create their own EAs and let the program do all the work, no human emotions involved.


MetaTrader 4 is available to clients of HotForex as desktop, web and mobile versions. More brokers using the MT4 can be viewed here


What is more, HotForex provides MT4 MultiTerminal, which offers a practical and convenient way to manage multiple accounts simultaneously from a single interface.

 

The MT5, on the other hand, was intended as a multi-asset trading platform. In addition to forex, it facilitates trading in exchange-traded stocks. The platform is generally an enhanced version of the MT4, keeping most of the functionalities of its predecessor - the great charting, Expert Advisors, and more.


Besides, free VPS hosting is offered to both new and existing customers who deposit a minimum of $5,000 and maintain this amount for the subsequent months. VPS hosting allows the execution of orders 24 hours, 5 days a week.

 

In addition, HotForex has developed a copy trading service of its own. It is called HFCopy and enables the broker's clients to follow other traders and copy their deals.


Promotions
By the time of writing this review, HotForex runs the following promotions:


- 100% SuperCharged Bonus – applies to each deposit of $250 by FIX, Premium, Currenex and Islamic account holders up to $50,000;
- 30% Rescue Bonus - to a maximum of $7,000 which cannot be withdrawn under any circumstances;
- 100% Credit Bonus - applies on new deposits or internal transfers to trading accounts of at least $100 (available on Micro, Premium, Islamic, FIX and Currenex account types), which can be withdrawn as soon as trading volume requirements are met.
- Performance based competitions: demo contest with $3500 pool prize;
- Other ongoing promotions: HTA award and a $1000 cash prize as a showcase to the superb skills that lead to an excellent performance.


Methods of Payment


HotForex supports a wide range of payment methods: credit/debit cards (Visa, Visa Electron, MasterCard, Maestro, American Express), bank wire transfer and e-wallet payment systems Skrill, Neteller, WebMoney, TrustPay, iDeal, Sofort, Western Union, Przelewy24.


Conclusion


HotForex is a EU award-winning broker that offers wide range of trading products and account types under competitive conditions. To sum up the above, here are the advantages and drawbacks with regards to this broker:

 

Pros  Cons
Solid regulation (FCA, CySEC, DFSA)  No choice of trading platforms
Low competitive spreads  
MT4 available, HFCopy  
Attractive Bonuses & Promotions  

 

Headquarters:
HF Markets Europe Ltd

Spirou Kyprianou 50, Irida 3 Tower, 10th Floor, Larnaca 6057
 
 
Country: Cyprus
 
Regulated by: CySec
 
Promotions:
100% SuperCharged Bonus  
100% Credit Bonus
30%   Rescue Bonus  
 

Dealing:
Straight Through Processing (STP

Spread:
Variable, from 1 pip  (no commision)
Variable, from 0.02 pips  ($6 or $10 commision)

Deposit/Withdraw
Bank Wire, Credit card,  Skrill (MoneyBookers), WebMoney, Neteller, Perfect Money, CashU

Platform:
Metatrader, Currenex, Web Trader, iPhone Trader, druidTrader, PAMM, FIX/API

Extra Services:
Technical anaysis from TradingCentral.com
MYFX platform for deposits over $2000

Crypto Facilities

Crypto Facilities Review
Trader's rating 5
Editor's rating 3.8

Trading accounts

 

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Maker Fee Taker Fee
Standard Undisclosed 1:50* -0.03% (rebate) 0.05%

* Trading conditions at this exchange are more specific due to the nature of the products available for trading. For more details check the full review.

 

Crypto Facilities is a platform for cryptocurrency futures trading. This makes them one of the options for miners, looking to hedge their exposure. The most well-known other similar platform is BitMEX

Warning: Several other companies have used Crypto Facilities' FCA registration number. As far as we know, their original website is the only one at which they operate. Here is proof of their disagreement and frustration with these scammers:



 

 

The company, security of funds

 

Company Country Regulation
CRYPTO FACILITIES LTD UK FCA

 

Crypto Facilities is registered in the United Kingdom and more importantly overseen by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This is very unusual as the British watchdog usually doesn’t look at companies dealing in the crypto-space. That being said, this is derivatives trading company, and the crypotocurrencies are only the underlying asset.

 

While the FCA oversees a lot of companies (like forex brokers) and enforces a lot of rules, there are a few specifics in regards to Crypto Facilities. You are probably familiar with the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), especially if you have read some of our reviews on forex brokers. This is a mechanism, which guarantees client funds, in case their brokerage goes bankrupt. As point 3.2 of the Membership Agreement at Crypto Facilities states, the FSCS does not apply, as your account balance is kept in cryptocurrencies, which are not yet defined as either “money” nor a “Specified Investment”. 

 

That being said, all of the client accounts are held in segregated cold-storage wallets, backed by Elliptic, an industry-leading crypto-security company. Additionally the blockchain settlement is insured by an “A-rated, Fortune 100 underwriter”. Given the fact the company is based in the UK, you probably have a pretty good idea of which insurer they are referring to, presuming you have any knowledge of that market. 

 

With such major security claims, it probably wouldn’t surprise you to hear that Crypto Facilities has not been hacked yet. In general, this company appears to be much more secure than a lot of the traditional cryptocurrency exchanges.

 

Crypto Facilities partnered with the CME group in order to provide two Ethereum indices. They are the CME CF Ether-Dollar Reference Rate (Ether Reference Rate), which will provide a daily benchmark price in U.S. dollars at 4 pm London time, and the CME CF Ether-Dollar Real Time Index (Ether Real Time Index), which will allow users access to a real-time Ether price in U.S. dollars. Price data is gathered from two of the most reputable exchanges: Kraken and Bitstamp.  Being connected with such an established derivatives trading institution, like the CME Group is a positive sign.

 

There aren’t that many user reviews on Crypto Facilities, which is understandable, given the relatively complicated nature of their offering. The few comments we found were all positive.

 

We feel the need to reiterate, trading on this venue is very different from other cryptocurrency exchanges. The company has even set-up a questionarie, which one must fill before being allowed to trade. This is done in order to protect unsophisticated enthusiasts from loosing their funds due to not understanding the nature of margin trading.

 

Trading conditions

 

Account types (cash and margin)

Before we begin discussing the trading conditions at Crypto Facilities, we must mention the accounts are only kept in Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple. Additionally, before you begin trading, you must transfer coins (internally) between your main (cash) account and one of your margin accounts. The latter vary by trading instrument. While all of this seems very complicated, in reality it isn’t. Here is how the wallet interface looks:

 

 

Each of your secondary wallets serves as your trading balance for that particular futures contract. This provides a form of risk management, which is always appreciated. 

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

Crypto Facilities supports Bitcoin (with the newly agreed upon symbol XBT, instead of the more traditional BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Ripple (XRP) futures trading. 

 

The currently available crosses can be seen in the previous screenshot, where three coins are traded against the USD and there is an XRP:XBT pair. 

 

In terms of maturity, contracts are weekly, monthly and quarterly (for some instruments).

 

Leverage

The maximum leverage ratio offered by Crypto Facilities is 1:50 for Bitcoin to USD trading. The conditions vary for different instruments and are a bit more complicated than the ones offered by other companies. Here is a preview:

 

 

Be sure to fully understand the meaning of all the terms listed here before you start trading. 

 

Margin netting, between long and short positions is available, presuming you trade from the same margin portfolio. 

 

We must mention, that there are other derivatives based on digital assets. These are the spot CFDs, available at some forex brokers. While Bitcoin and Ethereum are the most popular, Litecoin is also occasionally being offered. While these CFDs are linked to the current price of the asset in question and not the future value, they do have some further specifics. You can read all about them here, if you are interested.

 

Fees

The fees at Crypto Facilities are charged in XBT, ETH and XRP, in accord with the specific contracts. Here are the details:

 

We have to compare these fees with ones charged by the major competitor offering a similar service. The taker fee at BitMEX is 0.075%, while market makers get a 0.025% rebate, which makes Crypto Facilities the cheaper trading venue.

 

Summary 

 

While the above description of the trading conditions may appear complicated, here is a table, summarizing it all:

 

 

 

Trading platform

 

The trading platform at Crypto Facilities is web-based. While this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone familiar with cryptocurrencies, there is an argument to be made for desktop solutions.  The platform was updated to feature charting by TradignView (which is a top-tier third party provider) and have an interface which is generally cleaner.

 

 

The order book is arranged in two columns, which traders versed in traditional markets will prefer to the single column approach, used by many exchanges. 

 

Update: This section of the Crypto Facilities website is apparently taken down, but we will keep the following text. 

 

The “analytics” section off the website offers some extra features.. Here is how the index charting looks (The overall index allows comparison to the quotes provided by Bitstamp, Bitfinex, BTC-E, Coinbase and ItBit.):

 

 

And here is a preview of the futures curves, which allow one to see if the market is in a contango or backwardatiwon:

 

 

Our opinion of the Crypto Facilities platform is neutral. While it offers some futures-specific elements, the main trading window is less than ideal. Additional tools will probably needed for serious trading.

  

Methods of payment

 

The only way of transferring funds in and out of Crypto Facilities is the blockchain. Once you register an account, you are given Bitcoin, Etherum and Ripple wallets, to facilitate your trading. As mentioned above the control to specify how much to put into each margin wallet and how much to leave as “cash” is a neat feature.

 

Conclusion

 

Crypto Facilities is a London-based cryptocurrency futures trading platform, overseen by the FCA. While the they do not participate in the FSCS, they still follow other major rulings. The company’s overall security appears to be much higher than what is currently offered by other exchanges. That being said, trading at Crypto Facilities is not for everybody. The mere concept of futures trading is somewhat more complicated than the ordinary crypto trading. Add the volatility of cryptocurrencies on top of that and you get a potentially explosive combination. More experienced traders, as well as miners looking to hedge their “virtual crops” may find this to be one of their best options. Here are the pros and cons of Crypto Facilities:

 

Pros Cons
FCA-regulated (FSCS doesn’t apply) Complicated trading environment
Top-tier security features Accounts held in crypto
Blockchain settlement insured Only accepts blockchain transfers
Charts by TradingView  
Two-factor Authentication
 

 

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