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HighLow

HighLow Review
Trader's rating 1
Editor's rating 4.6

 

Basic Information

 

Min.deposit

Min./Max. bet size

Payout %

Promotion

Trading platform

$50

$10/ $2,000 

Up to 88%*

up to $50 cashback

In-house web-based

 

*Up to 100%, spread included

 

HighLow is an ASIC-regulated binary options broker, that offers industry leading payouts on its unique trading platform. Unlike most binary options brokers, it offers a single trading account type.

 

In terms of assets, however, the broker’s portfolio appears rather limited. It includes less than 20 currency pairs, less than 10 indices CFDs and gold.

 

The Company. Security of Funds

 

Company

Country

Regulation

Highlow Markets Pty. Ltd.

Australia

ASIC

 

HighLow is a brand name Highlow Markets Pty. Ltd., a firm regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).

 

ASIC requires licensed companies to meet certain requirements and to comply with various rules. Australian forex brokers must hold at least $ 1 million in order to operate legitimately, to keep  clients’ money segregated trust accounts and to report transactions regularly.

 

Unlike other European brokers, however, Australian ones are not covered by any compensation scheme.

 

Trading Conditions

 

Trading Options: High/Low, High/Low Spread, Turbo, Turbo Spread

Assets:  Currencies, Indices and Commodities

Expiry Times: High/Low, High/Low Spread – from 15 min to 1 day 3

Turbo, Turbo Spread - from 30 seconds to 5 minutes

 

As you can see, popular trading options such as long-term binary options, One Touch, Ladder and Pairs are not available with HighLow. Also, there is no option to follow other traders, such as SpotFollow or iFollow.

 

On the other hand, this broker offers an unusual type of options that show a bid/ask spread, the standard method of price making in the forex markets. These are Turbo Spread and High/Low Spread options.

 

Minimum Initial Deposit

The minimum initial deposit for clients of HighLow is $50, which is a low initial amount. Many binary options brokers require $100 - $200 from traders as a start, and they are not even regulated.

 

Min. bet size

The minimum bet size with this broker is $10, which is average. By comparison, with mobile-only binary options broker NenX one can place a trade with just €1. A bet size as low as this allows lower-risk trades.

 

Payout amount

HighLow's payouts are expresses in their platform as decimal odds. In fact, this broker offers rather high payouts, those for Turbo Spread and High/Low Spreadwhich actually being among the highest in the industry, reaching 100%.  However, with those instruments traders have also pay a spread, as their name suggests.  This is how the broker gets paid for its services and is able to offer 100% returns.

 

On the other hand, the payout amount for HighLow’s non-Spread instruments is 88%, which is also attractive.

 

Trading Platform

 

HighLow uses its in-house web-based platform, which is also available as mobile applications for iPhone/iPad and Android devices. It is quite unique and easy to use at the same time.

 

 

Once an asset is selected, the chart below will update, showing current price levels, trader sentiment, payout and the expiry. The platform’s charts, however, are basic, lacking advanced technical analysis features.

 

Besides, the platform provides a sentiment indicator, Trader’s Choice, that allows users to monitor current trading trends in real time.

 

Promotions

HighLow currently offers up to $50 cashback on initial trades for new clients.  

 

Methods of Payment

 

There are several payment methods available to HighLow’ clients: Credit cards (Visa), bank wire and e-payment service Neteller. Other region-based methods are also available.

 

There is a $20 fee for international transfers to overseas bank accounts.  

 

Conclusion

 

HighLow is an ASIC-regulated binary options broker whose offerings are pretty unique in terms of instruments and platform. It offers 100% payouts but these instruments also include a spread. To sum up the above, here are the advantages and drawbacks in relation to this broker:

 

Pros Cons
ASIC-regulated No long-term options, OneTouch, Ladder
Attractively high payout amounts Rather limited asset offering
Unique and easy to use trading platform  

 

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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