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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  

 

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  

 

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