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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. 

QUOINEX

QUOINEX Review
Trader's rating 1
Editor's rating 3.8

Trading accounts

 

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Fees
Standard Undisclosed 1: 25 0.25%*

*While the company claims to offer 0% fees for Japanese clients, the situation is not that clear for the rest. Go to the fees section of the review for more details.

QUOINEX (which stands for QUOINE Exchange) is a relatively new competitor in the cryptocurrency space. The company behind this project operates two brands – one focused on accepting fiat currency deposits (this one) and another one for digital asset trading (QRYPTOS). This is similar to the business model used by Coinbase/GDAX and OKCoin/OKEX.



The company, security of funds

Company Country Regulation
QUOINE Pte. Ltd Japan/Singapore/Vietnam JFSA

 

QUOINE Pte. Ltd is the company behind QUOINEX. They operate from offices in Japan, Singapore and Vietnam, but more importantly they recently got the regulatory approval of the JFSA. This brings a lot of credibility to the exchange, as regulated entities are few in the crypto-space.



QUOINE was founded in 2014 and later received substantial funding. The company’s founders Mike Kayamori and Mario Gomez-Lozada have substantial experience in the “traditional” business world, which also makes the project sound better.



While there weren’t any major hacks at QUOINEX, we must mention the most famous case of a conflict with a client. The cryptocurrency market-maker B2C2 is currently suing the company after a canceled a major transaction. Reports state, B2C2 made around $3.7 million on a trade/s, which was/were allegedly executed at a price which was very distant from the current market price. QUOINEX claimed this was an abuse of a technical issue, and reverted the deals. We can’t clearly state which side of the argument is right, but we must mention this incident occurred before the company was regulated by the Japanese financial watchdog.



There aren’t many English reviews on QUOINEX, but a lot of them are fairly negative. The complaints are mostly on slow withdrawal process and high fees on deposits (which are not charged by the company, but by the partnering banks). 



Trading conditions


 
Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)
The cryptocurrencies available at QUOINEX are only Bitcoin and Ethereum, while more altcoins are available at QRYPTOS. More importantly, trading can be done against a lot of fiat currencies: USD, JPY, EUR, AUD, SGD, HKD, IDR and PHP. On top of that there are three types of trading: spot (without leverage), margin and futures. The latter can be quite tricky, so we don’t recommend it to beginners.


 
Minimum initial deposit
There is no information on the minimum deposit requirement at QUOINEX. This is not usually the case with the forex brokers, which we mostly cover. As an example FXCM requires $50 for the creation of a new account.


 
Leverage
QUOINEX offers leverage up to 1:25. This is one of the highest levels available for cryptocurrency trading, which should be used wisely. As you may know forex brokers usually offer even higher ratios, like 1:500. This is due to the fact traditional currencies are much less volatile than Bitcoin.

 

Be sure to fully understand the ways margin trading operates before participating in it. One must also be aware of the differences between trading Bitcoin with a forex broker and an exchange, one of which is the margin fee, applied by some exchanges. In the case of QUOINEX, the fee is set at 5%.


 
Fees
There are no fees on trading with your “base currency pair” at QUOINEX. When trading with against other currencies the fees go as high as 0.25% which is in line with the industry standards.



Your account’s “base currency pair” will be determined on your country of residence. All of the examples given at the website, state you will trade with zero fees, if you are based in Japan. That being the case, there isn’t total clarity on the fees, if you are not a Japanese client. Here is a screenshot of their fee structure (zoom-in to see the explanation in the bottom):




 
 

Trading platform


 
QUOINEX provides a web-based trading solution. They are one of the few companies, which offers a demo account. Here is what you get, after registering one:





The charting seems very solid and reminiscent of the package provided by bitFlyer. On the left side of the chart, we can see a nice order entry panel followed by the order book and tape. The latter two are surprisingly placed above one another. This is very counter-intuitive to seasoned traders.


 
Methods of payment


 
QUOINEX accepts bank transfers in multiple currencies. We must note, the processing times for the more exotic ones are fairly longer. Additionally, transfers in Bitcoin or Ethereum are also accepted. The lack of credit card or e-wallet (servies like PayPal or Netteler) support will tun away some potential new clients.


 
Conclusion


 
QUOINEX is a cryptocurreny exchange, which is regulated by the JFSA. The company accepts Bank Transfers, which makes it a competitor in the “entry service provider” category. Commissions are competitive, despite a lack of clarity on the “0% fees” for non-Japanese clients. The trading platform feels solid, although the positioning of the order books and tape is a bit odd. Here are the pros and cons of QUOINEX:

 

Pros Cons
JFSA Regulation No altcoins available (ex. ETH)
No major hacks yet Some negative user reviews
Accepts Bank Transfers Odd positioning of some elements of the trading platform
Competitive commissions  
Relatively nice trading platform   
Allows margin trading and futures     


 

Forex
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