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IG

IG Review
Trader's rating 5
Editor's rating 4.6

Trading Accounts

 

Account type Minimum deposit  Minimum trade size Maximum leverage Average Spreads
Standard  $0 0.1 1:200** 0.6 pips 
DMA  $0 0.1 1:200 0.2 pips + commission $3-$5*

*commission is calculated per standard lot per side and is based on trading volume

**The IG branch in Singapore offers maximum leverage of 1:50.

 

IG offers spread betting and CFD services with the same spreads. CFD accounts are two types – Standard & DMA. The Standard one is commission-free, while the DMA account provides lower spreads, as prices are offered by liquidity providers, plus a variable commission, based on the client’s order size.

 

The broker does not offer micro lots for trade (0.01 lots), so some traders may find it difficult to manage the risks associated with high-volume trading.

 

The Company

 

Founded in London in 1974, IG (formerly IG Index) is a pioneer broker, that actually created the concept of financial spread betting. Furthermore, IG was the first spread betting firm to introduce online dealing in 1998.

 

Currently, the group of companies offers wide range of products for online trade, available on a selection of platforms: contracts for difference (CFDs) on currency pairs, indices, commodities, stocks, financial spread betting (in the UK and Ireland), as well as binary options. In 2014 the broker also introduced execution-only stockbroking in the UK and Ireland, later rolling it out to the Netherlands and Germany.

               

The IG Group also owns the North America Derivatives Exchange (Nadex), the premier and largest regulated online US exchange, offering binary options and spreads.

 

In addition, the group is listed on the London Stock Exchange and the FTSE 250. In fact, it is currently the largest forex broker listed on the LSE in terms of market capitalization.

 

Its UK head office is located in the heart of the City of London, and the group has sales offices in 15 other countries. 

 

IG is a trading name of IG Markets Ltd. and IG Index Ltd, authorized and regulated by UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). For binary bets IG Index Ltd. is also licensed and regulated by the Gambling Commission.

 

Security of Funds

 

UK’s financial watchdog is famous for applying strict requirements to brokerage firms. Licensed companies are required to comply with certain rules and procedures covering client funds, order execution, minimum capital requirement of  €730 000 , regular report filing, etc. 

 

In relation to security of clients` funds, we would also like mention that FCA-regulated brokers fall under the umbrella of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), which protects consumers up to £50,000 per person, in case the company goes bankrupt.

 

Except got the two abovementioned firms, the IG Group has units regulated by the respective authorities in a number of countries.

 

Countries of regulation Regulator
UK  FCA
Germany  BaFin
Switzerland  FINMA
Australia  ASIC
New Zealand FMA
UAE  DFSA
Japan  JFSA
Singapore  MAS

 

Trading Conditions

 

Minimum Initial Deposit

Clients of IG are not required to deposit a certain initial amount in order to open an account with IG, however they have to fund their accounts in order to initiate a trade. For instance, in order to buy 1 lot GBP/USD (1 contract is £100,000 and the margin rate is 0.5%), one has to deposit at least £500.

 

Average Spreads & Commissions

IG offers competitive low spreads, averaged to 0.6 pips on EUR/USD on commission-free accounts, and even less on DMA ones (which involve a commission). Such pricing is really good, as we find most brokers offer spreads within the range of 1.0 – 1.5 pips.

 

In comparison, FxPro offers average spreads as low as 0.4 pips on the EUR/USD for its cTrader accounts and charges $4.5 per lot. For further information, you may also check out the real-time spreads of 15 major brokers here.

 

Leverage

The maximum leverage levels offered by IG are up 1:200, which is considered average. Yet, many FCA-regulated brokers provide higher leverage ratios: FxPro, for instance, offers leverage up to 1:500.

 

We would like to remind traders that higher leverage involves higher risk, not only the probability of multiplied profits earned on a small deposit. It is a double-sided coin.

 

Trading Platforms

 

This broker offers a selection of robust platforms: its proprietary IG platform, web-based ProRealTime, a special DMA platform – L2 Dealer, as well as the industry’s standard MetaTrader 4 (MT4).

 

 

The web-based ProRealTime has customisable layout and is equipped with several charting packages, Over 100 indicators covering everything from price to volatility, automated trade options and extensive historical data.

 

For those who want full market depth with Direct Market Access (DMA) for FX, share dealing and equity CFDs, IG offers the downloadable L2 Dealer platform. It provides greater liquidity on shares trading through access to primary exchanges, market makers, brokers and MTF dark pools. With L2 Dealer, traders can place basket trades using the Excel-compatible 'Watchlist Pro' function, autotrade by using algorithms they have created in Excel and to make well-informed decisions due to the market-linked news feeds and live charts.

 

In addition, traders who are used to the good old MetaTrader 4, are able to use it with IG.

 

Methods of Payment

 

IG UK`s clients are able to make deposits and withdrawals via credit/debit cards or wire transfer. Popular e-wallets, such as BPay, China UnionPay and Paypal, are also available as payment methods with this broker.

 

Conclusion

 

Being part of a large international group with more than 40 years of experience in the industry, IG is a reliable and well-regulated broker, offering competitive conditions for trading in wide range of financial instruments on several platforms. To sum things up, here are the advantages and drawbacks with regards to IG:

 

Pros Cons
Regulated in multiple jurisdictions No micro lots available  
Competitive tight spreads Limited payment methods
No minimum initial deposit required  
Wide range of trading instruments & platforms  
Part of a large publicly listed group with more than 40 years of experience  

                                

Headquarters: 

Cannon Bridge House, 25 Dowgate Hill, London EC4R 2YA

Country: United Kingdom

Regulated by: 

FCA (UK)

BTCC

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

Trading Accounts and Conditions

 

Account type

Minimum deposit

Leverage

Maker fee

Taker fee

DAX exchange N/A N/A 0.1% 0.2% *
USD exchange 0.0001 BTC / $50 N/A 0.1% 0.1% **

 

*Wthdrawal fee of 0.001 BTC / 0.01 ETC also applies.

**Deposit and withdrawal fees also apply.

 

BTCC is the oldest and biggest cryptocurrncy exchanges in China. Although BTCChina has exited the Chinese Market in October, 2017, its other exchanges, BTCC DAX, as well as the USD exchange, are functioning.

 

BTCC offers crypto-to-crypto and fiat-to-crypto trading on different exchanges, as listed in the table above. Besides, it also offers some additional services like Physical Bitcoins (Mint), Mobi Bitcoin Wallet, and others. The good thing is, you can access both exchanges and all services through a single BTCC account. More importantly, BTCC has one of the larges mining pools globallyAt the time of writing of this review, they had mined around 3.4% of the newly created Bitcoin (for the last 24 hours) 

 

BTCC Advantages

 

Good reputation, proven security

Founded back in 2011, BTCC is the longest-running bitcoin exchange worldwide. It was the dominant player for CNY/BTC trades before it closed its China operations. It is still considered as one of the best exchanges for trading in popular digital coins like BTC, ETH, ETC and BCC.

 

BTCC has a 100% track record in security since its inception, as it has not experienced any major hacks in its long history. More than 95% of its users’ digital assets are kept in cold storage with multi-signature controls to minimize the risk and exposure to hacking.

 

Large trading volume, deep liquidity

Currently, BTCC is rated 16th by 24-hour trading volume according to the data provided by CoinMarketCap and is typically among the top 20 players in this category. This basically means that its users don’t have to worry about insufficient liquidity.

 

Supports fiat (USD) currency, and Bank Wire and credit card transfers offered

On BTCC’s USD exchange you can exchange your dollars for Bitcon, or vice versa. Supporting fiat currencies is an advantage, especially for newcomers in the cryptocurrency world, who are yet to buy some digital coins with their real money in traditional currencies. For those, using their credit card or bank account is utterly convenient.

 

>>A list of crypto-exchanges accepting credit cards<<

 

Competitive trading fees

The fees charged by BTCC are relatively competitive, amounting to 0.1% / 0.2% per trade. Typically, exchanges charge 0.20% - 0.25%. However, some of them do not charge market makers, as the latter provide exchanges with liquidity.

 

Relatively low withdrawal fee

Like most exchanges, BTCC does not charge blockchain deposits. Other than this, certain fees apply to deposits in fiat currency, as well as to withdrawals, depending on the funding method and the currency. While many exchanges charge quite hefty deposit and withdrawal fees, BTCC's commission seem relatively low:


 

 

Platform with advanced trading user face

Most cryptocurrency exchanges do not offer advanced platforms like the most popular forex and CFD trading terminal for MetaTrader 4. Nonetheless, BTCC has chosen a different approach – not only that it offers crypto-to-crypto and crypto-to-fiat trading on different exchanges, but the latter has two different interfaces – basic and professional. The advanced trading user interface offers lots of bells and whistles: wide range of technical indicators, advanced charts, add-ons, etc. Besides, there is WebSocket and FIX API available for professional clients’ trading needs. Of course, BTCC Mobile App is also offered.

 

 

BTCC’ advanced trading UI. Click to zoom in.

 

Extra Services

In addition to having one of the largest and top-rated mining pools in the world and operating several crypto-exchanges, BTCC offers a service called BTCC Mint. These are titanium coins that can be purchased with BTC and are shipped to all countries except the US.

 

BTCC also offers its Mobi Digital Currency Wallet, allowing storage, conversion, and transfer of bitcoin and more than 100 currencies, including the United States dollar, the British pound, and the euro.

 

BTCC Disadvantages

 

Not regulated

Like most crypto-exchanges, BTCC is not licensed, nor overseen by any governmental authority. So, this is no big issue.

 

If you prefer to trade in digital coins via a regulated company, we remind you that you can do that with forex brokers. Make sure you are aware of the differences between trading on an exchange and with forex brokerage beforehand.

 

>> Check out our list of regulated bitcoin forex brokers <<

 

Limited instrument portfolio

BTCC doesn’t offer a wide range of pairs for trade, choosing instead to focus on a smaller number of high-volume ones. Currently the available ones on both exchanges are: BTC/USD (constituting 70% of its overall volume), BCC/BTC, ETH/BTC, and ETC/BTC.

 

If you would rather trade in more exotic cryptocurrencies, check out Bittrexthis major US exchange offers over 190 digital assets for trade.

 

No margin trading

As a matter of fact, BTCC used to offer margin trading but discontinued this service in the beginning of 2017 after “discussions” with the People’s Bank of China (PBOC). Most cryptocurrency exchanges do not offer leverage, but there are some who do, like Kraken, Quoinex and others. Besides, all forex brokers ffer leveraged trading on cryptocurrency CFDs.

 

>> Brokers offering leveraged Bitcoin trading <<

 

No anonymous trading

Since BTCC Exchange requires its users to verify their identity in order to trade in order to ensure the safety and security of the funds and activities on its platforms. Identity verification is also required in compliance with certain government AML KYC regulations. Verification process can be slow and complicated. Besides, it defies the initial idea of of Bitcoin to allow anonymous trades.

 

Conclusion

 

BTCC is the oldest Bitcoin exchange worldwide. It is highly regarded for its reliability, security, deep liquidity and the extra services it provides for its users.

 

Initially set up in Shanghai in 2011, BTCC was one of the Chinese “Big Three” along with Huobi and OkCoin. Following China’s ICO ban in the country, BTCC shut down its local division (BTCChina). BTCC DAX and BTCC USD exchanges, however, are functioning, and the company operates via its units in the UK and Hong Kong BTCC (UK Limited or XO Market Limited).

 

None of these companies is formally regulated, but this does not effect the overall reliability of BTCC. Unlike the situation with forex brokers, the legal crypto-exchanges is still unclear in most countries. The important thing is, BTCC complies with governmental instructions – its halted margin trading, and was the first among the “Big Three” to shut down its Chinese operations. More importantly, it keeps clients’ assets in cold storage and has not been hacked during its long years of operation.

 

Besides, BTCC has a lot of advantages, apart from its reliability: competitive fees, various transfer methods supported, advanced trading platform with mobile app, and some great extra services, such as top-tear mining pool.

 

Pros Cons
Many years of experience, no hacks Not regulated
Competitive trading and transfer fees A few altcoins available
Accepts bank transfers, credit cards No anonymous trading, no margin trading
USD fiat supported  
Platform with advanced features available, mobile app  
Top-tier mining pool  

 

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