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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. 

OKEX

OKEX Review
Trader's rating 1
Editor's rating 4

Trading Accounts

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Fee
Standard Undisclosed 1:20 0.03%


OKEX is a digital asset exchange, under the umbrella of OKCoin. The situation with the two is similar to how GDAX is owned by Coinbase – one brand is targeting retail consumers, while the other one is dedicated towards serious traders.


 
The company, security of funds

Company Country Regulation
OKCoin.cn Inc China N/A

 

OKEX is the more trading-focused version of OKCoin. The company behind both projects is based in China. This can explain the relatively low popularity of this exchange in the west. This is also combined with the concerns about Chinese regulatory actions in the cryptocurrency space, as the country recently banned ICOs.



The most unique things about OKEX are the stand-alone desktop platform (which we will get to later) and the availability of Bitcoin and Litecoin futures contracts.



OKEX hasn’t been the target of major hacks yet. While this brings some assurance, in terms of security, it does not guarantee this will not happen in the future.



There aren’t many user reviews specifically for OKEX, but as the company is part of OKCoin, we can assume they offer the same level of service. Those who were frustrated with the way USD bank transfers support ended are the least happy customers.



Trading conditions


 
Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

The available assets at OKEX are BTC, ETH and LTC. They are being traded against the USD and CNY. That being said, BTC and LTC futures contracts are also available on this exchange. While they are presented as a way for miners to hedge their risk (which was the original idea behind futures contracts), we would not recommend beginners to delve into them as the liquidity may be substantially lower.



Minimum initial deposit
No information on the minimum initial deposit is available at OKEX. We are used to forex brokers providing a minimum level, which is usually around the $100 mark (as is the case with easyMarkets, for instance). However, in the cryptoverse, not demanding a minimum deposit isn’t anything special.


 
Leverage
The maximum leverage at OKEX is 1:20. While this may seem like nothing, when compared to the ratios which some forex brokers offer (like the 1:888, provided by XM), it is high. The main reason for that is that cryptocurrencies tend to be a lot more volatile than the traditional forex pairs, which rarely experience daily moves of more than 1-2%.


 
Fees
The fees at OKEX are probably the lowest in the industry, at the time of writing of this review. There is a 0.03% fee for opening a new position and nothing is charged for the closing transaction. This is a lot better than the average of around 0.20-0.25%, offered by most other exchanges. On the other hand, the forex brokers, who provide Bitcoin trading include their costs only in the spread. While it is a bit hard to compare spreads and commissions based on size, you can check out this post to get a better picture.



Trading platform


 
OKEX is one of the few crypto-exghanges which offers a stand-alone desktop platform. While you may be used to browser-based trading, there are a few advantages to having a separate piece of software. Most notably, if you are running on low to middle end hardware and like to open multiple tabs, you have probably already ran into memory issues. Having to run a trading platform alongside them doesn’t help in that regard. Additionally, the platform offered by OKEX allows multiple-monitor support. With a click of a button you can duplicate the entire layout multiple times and move it to another monitor. Here is a preview of how a single window in the platform looks:

 


 


Charting is provided by the OKCoin proprietary system, which is a lot better than many other solutions. The order book and tape are located on the right and while the numbers may appear to be rather small there probably is an option to increase the font. That being said, we come to the biggest weakness of the platform – it is only in Chinese (or at least we didn’t find the way to switch to English).



Methods of payment


 
OKEX is directly linked to OKCoin, so you can make a CNY transfer to the latter and trade on the more sophisticated exchange. Additionally cryptocurrencty transfers in BTC, ETH and LTC are accepted.


 
Conclusion


 
OKEX is a digital asset exchange owned by OKCoin. The company behind both of them is based in China and focuses primarily on the domestic market. OKEX offers extremely low trading fees when compared to the competition. That being the case, only three coins are available for trading. The addition of futures contracts may be nice for miners willing to hedge their “crops”, although we would not recommend trading in them unless you are very experienced. Here is a summary of OKEX:


 

Pros Cons
Very Competitive trading fees Few coins available
No major hacks yet Trading platform only in Chinese
Owned by OKCoin  
Desktop trading platform  
High liquidity  
BTC and LTC futures available  

 

Forex
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