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IC Markets

IC Markets Review
Trader's rating 4
Editor's rating 3.8

Trading Accounts

 

Account type/Platform Minimum deposit Minimum trade size Maximum leverage  Typical Spread Swap-free
(MT4) Standard  $200 0.01  1:500 1.1 pips on EUR/USD Yes
(MT4) True ECN $200 0.01  1:500 0.1 pips on EUR/USD + $3.5 per standard lot per side Yes
cTrader ECN $1000 0.01  1:500 0.1 pips on EUR/USD + commission of $3.00 per standard lot per side No

 

IC Markets offers its clients a choice of three live account types, available on two different platforms. The Standard account is a commission-free one, and True ECN one provides tighter spreads, but a commission of $7 round turn applies.


Micro lots are available for trade on all account types and, of course, the broker provides free Demo accounts, which are always appreciated by inexperienced traders.


What is more, IC Markets provides swap-free service to investors of Islamic belief, who are able to open Sharia-compliant accounts.


The Company. Security of Funds


Incorporated in Sydney, Australia in 2007, IC MARKETS is a NDD broker providing trading in more than 80 instruments, including a number of currency pairs, various CFDs on indices, commodities and futures, as well as precious metals. It also offers trading in some of the most popular cryptocurrencies - Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether, Dash and Bitcoin Cash.


The company behind the IC MARKETS brand is International Capital Markets Pty Ltd., which holds an Australian Financial Services License and is regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).


ASIC requires licensed companies to comply with various rules and to meet certain requirements. Clients’ money is to be kept in segregated trust accounts, separated from the companies’ operating funds. As for the minimum capital requirement, forex brokers must hold at least $ 1 million in order to prove their good financial standing and to operate legitimately.


Despite the regulation and the requirements set to Australian brokers, one should be aware of the risks of trading on margin. Returns and gains are not guaranteed. ASIC, the Australian Government nor any other person guarantees any funds in your account.


We would also like to point out that unlike many EU-based brokers, Australian ones are not covered by any compensation scheme. 

 

In 2008, IC Markets got a license from the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (‘CySEC’) and can now offer its services thoroughout the European Union and the EEA.


Trading Conditions


Minimum Initial Deposit
Traders are required to deposit $200 in order to open an account with IC Markets, which is an average initial amount. In comparison, Plus500 requires $100 and XM (holding, among others, also an ASIC license) demands just $5 from its clients as a start.


Average Spreads & Commissions

IC Markets offers variable spreads, the typical ones on its commission-free account amounting to 1.1, which is average. Spreads on the ECN accounts, on the other hand, are as low as 0.1 pips on EUR/USD on average, involving a commission of $6/$7 per standard lot round turn on the cTrader and MT4 respectively. So, trading costs of such account holders amount to just 07 – 0.8 pips, commission included, which is really attractive, especially considering that one can open such ECN MT4 account for just 200 bucks.


In comparison, XM also offers variable spreads starting from 0.0 pips on EUR/USD and applies commission of $5 on its Zero account, while spreads on its commission-free accounts start from 1.0 pips.


For further information, you may look up real-time spreads of 15 leading brokers here.


Maximum Leverage

Clients of IC Markets use leverage ratios up to 1:500 and such maximum leverage rate is considered high. Some jurisdictions cap leverage to significantly lower levels (i.e. 1:25 in Japan), because higher leverage involves higher risk of losses in excess of initial investments.


Most brokers usually offer leverage of up to 1:200 or 1:400, for instance global broker FXCM, also holding an ASIC license, provides leverage up to 1:400, and Plus500 – up to 1:200. Nevertheless, many brokers provide leverage ratios equal to or exceeding 1:500.


Trading Platforms


While most brokers provide just the MT4 and/or their in-house platform, IC Markets offers its customers a choice of three popular platforms: MetaTrader 4 (MT4), MetaTrader 5 (MT5) and cTrader. 


MT4 is the most widely used forex platform, available to the broker’s clients as Mac, iPhone/iPad and Android versions, as well as a Web Trader version. MT4 provides all the tools and resources a trader needs: a number of technical indicators, advanced charting package, wide range of Expert Advisers (EAs) and extensive back-testing environment. EAs are especially popular among experienced users, as they allow full automatization of trades, so traders may sit back, while the software does all the work.


If you are running EAs, it is vital that your platform is connected to our servers 24 hours a day. The best solution in this case is VPS and IC Markets has partnered with Commercial Network Services, NYCServers and BeeksFX VPS, to provide a customized low latency solution for their clients. The VPS seamlessly connects traders to the Equinix NY4 grid using cutting edge technology and providing excellent execution.


What is more, this broker provides Multi Account Manager MAM/PAMM options on MT4.

 

IC markets launched the MetaTrader 5 (MT5) platform in May, 2017. The MT5 sees a growing level of use recently, as MetaQuotes company tries to strengthen its presence on the market and ouphase its still more popular predecessor, the MT4.

 

In addition, IC Markets offers access to cTrader platform, which is custom-made for use in ECN environment. The IC Markets cTrader suite includes a PC, web and mobile versions, as well as automated trading software cAlgo.

Traders who are fond of automated trading are offered three more options with this broker: ZuluTrade, Myfxbook’s AutoTrade and Signal Trader's unique mirroring technology.


Institutional and high-volume traders (with minimum volume of $500 million per month) are also offered FIX API option to access market leading liquidity at affordable prices. The FIX Inside API can integrate the proprietary electronic and algorithmic client server, browser based, and mobile trading systems.


Methods of Payment


IC MARKETS offers its clients a variety of deposit/withdrawal methods: via credit/debit card, bank wire, BPAY, Neteller, Skrill, Webmoney, China UnionPay, FasaPay, PayPal and Qiwi.


What is more, this broker offers 10 flexible funding options in 10 different base currencies: AUD, USD, SGD, CHF, GBP, CAD, HKD, JPY, EUR, and NZD.


Conclusion


IC MARKETS is a reliable NDD Australian broker, offering competitive conditions for trading in a wide range of products on two platforms. To sum things up, here are the advantages and drawbacks with regards to IC MARKETS:

 

Pros  Cons
Low ECN spreads  No bonuses & rebates
Wide range of trading platforms & auto trading solutions  
ASIC-regulated   
High leverage levels available  

 

Country: Australia

Regulation: ASIC Australian Financial Services Licence Number 335692. 

BTCBOX

BTCBOX Review
Trader's rating 0
Editor's rating 4

Trading Accounts & Conditions

Account type Leverage Maker Fee Taker Fee Deposit Fee
Standard 1:3* 0%** 0%** Free

*margin is not granted instantly.
**only applies for BTC trading. There is a 0.20% fee on altcoin trading.



BTCBOX is a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange. They operate from the domain btcbox.co.jp and should not be confused with btcbox.in – a platform which supposedly provides “free Bitcoin”, but has received multiple negative reviews. The distinction is quite important as the Japanese exchange appears to be a very reputable one.



 
BTCBOX Advantages



FSA Licensed
– BTCBOX is the eight cryptocurrency company to be overseen by the Japanese Financial Services Agency (JFSA). This brings a lot of credibility to their offer, as not a lot of Bitcoin exchanges are regulated by a reputable financial watchdog. They also provide information about the actual company behind the project and their banking partners. While this sounds natural for a regulated company, it isn’t always the case with shadier trading venues. Two-factor verification is also provided.


 
Decent fees, BTC is free – trading Bitcoin at BTCBOX comes without any costs. That being said, altcoin traders will be charged a 0.20% fee. This applies both for market “makers” (the people who place passive orders in the book) and “takers” (the ones who buy or sell at the best price available). This is pretty much the standard at this point in time – not too high, but also not too low, when compared to the competition.


No deposit fees
– there are no deposit fees on blockchain transfers to BTCBOX. Additionally the company does not charge anything extra on bank transfers. While certain costs will be involved in either form of deposit (be they mining or banking), the company does not take anything extra.



1:3 in leverage
– BTCBOX is one of the few exchanges to facilitate margin trading. However, according to company policy each trader willing to borrow coins will have to be processed manually. This means it could be hours or even day before you are approved to receive it. This can definitely be an issue for aggressive traders, who are willing to jump on a chart setup. They will be much better suited with a forex broker.



 
>>Leveraged BTC trading<<




As you may already know a lot of these more traditional financial companies have started providing Bitcoin (and altcoin) trading. This is achieved via CFDs, which is slightly different than setting up a cryptocurrency exchange. In essence you only speculate with the price of the given coin, without owning it. For more information, check the full guide.




Japanese banking support – BTCBOX accepts Japanese Yen deposits. This makes them a great entry-level exchange for the locals.



>>Buy Bitcoin with a credit card<<



Two trading platforms – trading at this exchange is done via two interfaces. One of them is rather simple and rather nice. Additionally, a more “professional” version is also available. It offers solid charting and is arranged even more conveniently. Here is the preview (click to zoom in):
 



 

BTCBOX Disadvantages


Focus on Japan – while English and Chinese versions of the website, this is still an exchange primarily oriented towards Japan. We are not certain if the support will be up to par with the one provided by other companies (although basically everyone has received negative comments on this point).



Margin is not instant – the fact margin has to be provided to clients on an individual basis can be troubling. We haven’t tested the service, but just by reading the terms we expect delays to be quite possible.



Only four coins available – the short list of digital assets available at BTCBOX includes: BTC, BCH, LTC and ETH. Volumes on the ones other than Bitcoin are rather low.


Trading only against JPY – this is another thing limiting non-Japanese clients. It’s just company policy and there is nothing wrong with that, but we must mention it.


Withdrawal fees present – while they are small, these fees may irritate some users. The Bitcoin one is 0.001BTC.


No user reviews in English – BTCBOX doesn’t appear to be popular in the West. This is to be expected, given the previous factors.



Conclusion


BTCBOX is a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange, which is regulated by the Financial Services Agency (JFSA). This makes them a much more credible company than most of the competition. They provide access to Japanese customers to the world of crypto, as they even accept bank transfers. That being said, they may not be the ideal trading venue for a foreigner.

While this is a highly regulated exchange, the world of cryptocurrencies still carries a level of risk. If you are only looking to speculate with the price of Bitcoin, doing so with a forex broker may be preferable. View the link below for more details on the way regulation for forex brokers, offering Bitcoin works.


>>Regulated Bitcoin forex brokers<<



 
Here is the summary of BTCBOX:

Pros Cons
FSA Licensed Focus on Japan
Decent fees, BTC is free Margin is not instant
No deposit fees Only four coins available
1:3 in leverage Trading only against JPY
Japanese banking support Withdrawal fees present
Two trading platforms No user reviews in English

 

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