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itBit

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

Trading accounts and conditions

 

Account type Leverage Fees
Standard 1:1 *0.20% taker fee, 0% maker fee

*The OTC Trading desk for large orders charges a 0.10% flat fee per transaction.

 

itBit is a New York licensed US bitcoin exchange that offers services both to small retail and large and institutional clients. The service for smaller clients is called simply “exchange”, while the institutional service is called “OTC Trading Desk”. It is a “boutique service specializing in large bitcoin trades starting over 100 bitcoins”. It offers a deep orderbook, personalized trading support and competitive pricing. This service charges a flat fee of 0.10% per transaction. Additionally, itBit offers personalized service for active traders with a 30-day trading volume over 2,500 bitcoins.

 

Currently itBit offers trading only in Bitcoin against USD, EUR and SGD.

 

Unlike many exchanges who do not require verification at initial registration itBit does require immediate account verification, even before letting the users into their account. For the purpose one needs to provide a copy of government ID and proof of residence, which is more or less the industry standard. The verification process, particularly for foreign clients, takes a few days. For the institutional clients, there is a set of required documents that include incorporation or sole proprietorship proof.

 

ItBit does not offer leveraged trading, but there are cryptocurrency exchanges who do so, like Kraken, bitFlyer, Coincheck, Poloniex, etc. There is also a large number of forex brokers like IG, HYCM and easyMarkets, for example, who offer leveraged trading on CFDs on some of the most popular cryptocurrencies.

 

>> Forex brokers offering leveraged Bitcoin trading <<

 

The Company. Security of Funds

 

Company Country Regulation
itBit Trust Company, LLC USA  NYDFS

 

itBit is a New York based cryptocurrency exchange established in 2013 that operates legally in all 50 states, but also accepts international clients.

 

So far there are no unified rules and requirements for the US cryptocurrency exchanges, but the state of New York has introduced a license. In the spring of 2015 itBit has become the first US bitcoin exchange to get a charter from the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) under the state banking laws. There are two major cryptocurrency exchanges who have a New York bitcoin license: Coinbase and its institutional platform GDAX.

 

itBit employs robust security measures, such as two-factor authentication, multiple layers of platform security and 100% bitcoin cold storage. The company adheres to the CryptoCurrency Security Standard (CCSS) , which is a set of procedural requirements for secure handling of bitcoins established by C4, BitGo Inc. Additionally, all USD assets,  FDIC-insured and all fiat and bitcoin customer assets are fully protected and backed by mandatory capital reserves. Furthermore, the funds of itBit’s US customers are held exclusively in regulated US banks and do not leave American soil. ItBit also provides its US customers with the 1099 forms for tax reporting. 

 

The exchange also is fully compliant with the US anti-money laundering and know-your-customer procedures and requirements.

 

Trading platform

 

We could not gain access to itBit’s trading platform. We noticed, though, that the exchange provides access to market data with charts, the order book and the bitcoin network with a hash rate, market cap, mining revenue and average confirmation charts to anyone who visits the site. We find this fairly convenient.

 

We also came across user comments that the mobile web interface of the exchange is quite slow, but this could be actually caused by slow network and not by the platform itself.

 

Methods of payment

 

The only payment method for fiat currencies itBit accepts, is bank transfer and nothing else. This is quite inconvenient, as the bank transfers, especially the international ones, are far from instant and come with hefty fees. There are also default withdrawal limits of USD $2, 500 daily and USD $15, 000 monthly, but they can be changed. This, however, is done through printing out, filling in and e-mailing a two-page from and we find this a bit tedious.

 

The fact that itBit does not accept payments with credit/debit cards is quite inconvenient, especially for international clients who must pay through the nose for bank fees and wait several days for their payment to be processed.

 

>> crypto exchanges who accept credit cards <<

 

Conclusion

 

The best thing about itBit is that it is a regulated and strict cryptocurrency exchange. It takes rules, regulations and security very seriously and this is a very good thing.

 

However, those who wish to remain anonymous or register and start trading quickly, should go elsewhere and look for exchanges that do not have such strict and lengthy verification requirements. Those who have nothing to hide, though, would be absolutely fine with itBit.

 

A plus of itBit is the offering of special services and lower fees for the large traders.

 

What we do not like about this exchange is the fact that it does not accept credit and debit cards as payment. This, as we said, is not very convenient for a number of reasons.

 

Another minus of itBit is the fact that it does not offer other cryptocurrencies, besides Bitcoin. For those interested in trading in more than one or another altcoin, most exchanges have a somewhat larger selection. There are also platforms like Bisq and LiteBit who have a pretty big portfolio.

 

Pros Cons
NY regulation No anonymity
Robust safety Bitcoin only
Special service for large traders No credit/debit cards accepted
Accepts fiat currencies  

 

 

Dukascopy

Dukascopy Review
Trader's rating 3.7
Editor's rating 3.9

Trading Accounts

  

Account type Minimum Initial deposit Minimum trade size Maximum leverage Average Spreads (and Commission)
Standard $1 000 0.01 1:100 0.2 pip + $3.5/lot*

 

*Commission is calculated per standard lot of 100 000 currency base units (per side). Commission discounts offered to clients with higher Equity or Net deposits (details provided below).

 

Dukascopy provides a single account type with leverage up to 1:100, tight variable spreads and a reasonable commission. Micro lots are available for trade and all transactions are executed automatically on its ECN, whatever their size.

 

Besides, PAMM services are also available with this broker. The Percent Allocation Management Module (PAMM) is a technical solution allowing Dukascopy’s clients to have their accounts managed by a trader appointed by them on the basis of a limited trading power of attorney. PAMM solution allows the trader on one trading platform to manage simultaneously unlimited number of managed accounts. 

 

The Companies

 

Company  

Country 

Regulation

Dukascopy Bank SA

Switzerland

FINMA

Dukascopy Europe IBS AS

Latvia

FCMC

Dukascopy Japan K.K

Japan

JFSA

 

Founded in 2004, Dukascopy Bank is a Swiss online bank based in Geneva, Switzerland, providing online trading services (with focus on foreign exchange, bullion, CFD and binaries), banking and other financial services through proprietary technological solutions.

 

The broker has a EU subsidiary, as well as a Japan-based unit (as a result of acquisition of Alpary Japan in the beginning of 2015). In addition to its Geneva Headquarters, Dukascopy Bank has offices in Zürich, Riga, Kiev, Moscow, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong.

 

All Dukascopy customers take advantage of the Swiss Forex Marketplace (SWFX) ECN dealing model. The broker's pricing model is transparent, and so are its operational metrics. To top this up, Dukascopy offers a historical data feed, and market depth monitor as well. 

 

Security of Funds

 

Dukascopy is regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) both as a bank and a securities dealer. So, this broker is rock solid in terms of safety and security.

 

Getting such a license is not an easy task, as applicants must comply with a set of draconian requirements, including a minimum capital requirement of CHF 20 million. Moreover, Swiss forex brokers are obliged to sign the Swiss Banks and Securities Dealers agreement, which protects all customer deposits of up to CHF 100,000.

 

The broker’s subsidiaries are also duly regulated: Ducascopy Europe AS is an EU licensed investment brokerage company based in Latvia, and is regulated by the local Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC); Dukascopy Japan holds Type-1 license by the Financial Services Agency of Japan (JFSA).

 

Besides, Dukascopy Bank exercises consolidated supervision from Switzerland over its subsidiaries, ensures adequate liquidity, risk diversification and capital adequacy at a Group level.

 

Trading Conditions

 

Minimum initial deposit

The initial deposit requirement of $1,000 is probably a tad off-putting to rookies looking to start with a smaller amount of money, however the broker's educational and research section is outstanding and can probably make a pro trader out of a monkey. Calendars, charts, market news and research, signals, calculators and many other tools are at trader's disposal. 

 

Average Spreads & Commissions

The spreads offered by Dukascopy are variable and pretty tight, averaged 0.2 pips for the EUR/USD pair, but traders also need to pay a commission of $7 per lot round trip. Nonetheless, the cost of trading with this broker is around 0.9 pips per lot for this pair, which is really low and competitive pricing. Most brokers offer spreads within the range of 1.0 – 1.5 pips on EUR/USD.

In comparison, Swissquote, the only other regulated Swiss broker, provides variable spreads starting from 1.8 pips on EUR/USD (and charges no commission fees).

 

Besides, discounts on commission fees are available to clients with higher net deposits or equity in their accounts:

  

Net Deposit/Equity Commission (per standard lot per side)
≥ $5 000 $3.3
≥ $10 000 $3.0
≥ $25 000 $2.5
 
≥ 10 000 000 $1

 

Maximum Leverage

Dukascopy provides its clients with maximum leverage of 1:100, which is considered a low ratio for the market.  If you need higher leverage levels, many forex brokers offer leverage equal to or exceeding 1:500. Keep in mind, however that higher leverage increases the risk associated with trading on margin. That is why Swissquote also offers leverage up to 1:100 and even advises inexperienced traders to use leverage lower than this.

 

Trading Platforms

 

Ducascopy supports the ever-popular MetaTrader4 (MT4), and also offers its proprietary Forex trading platform JForex.

 

The MT4 hardly needs a presentation. This is the most popular trading software, highly praided by traders of all skill levels. The platform has great charting and is especially popular for its automated trading bots, called ExpertAdvisors.

 

JForex platform is designed for traders interested in automated trading and/or developing and testing trading strategies based on the JAVA programming language. It is available as desktop, web and mobile versions. Here are some of the tools and features the platform offers:

 

- 250 indicators and chart studies

- Calendar of economic events, news

- Automated trading on user's machine or Strategy Server

- Automated trading historical tester

- Renko, Range bars, Point&Figure and Line break charts

- Mql4 expert advisor converter to JAVA

 

Dukascopy’s web-based JFrorex. Click to enlarge.

 

Besides, this broker also offers the possibility of API integration for professional traders (who deposit a minimum of USD 100.000). The Dukascopy API is based on FIX4.4 protocol. The API is used to receive real-time data feed, submit orders, set / modify / cancel orders, and receive automated notifications of trading activities.

 

In addition, Dukascopy offers social trading functionality.

 

 

Methods of Payment

 

Clients of Dukascopy can make deposits to and withdrawals from their accounts via bank wire, debit cards (Maestro, Visa Electron), and credit cards (MasterCard, Visa). Unlike most brokers, Dukascopy does not support e-wallets, such as Skrill, Neteller and PayPal.

 

Conclusion

 

Dukascopy Bank is a Swiss forex broker offering a wide range of financial instruments for trade on it robust JForex platform. Holding an actual banking license, among others, it is secure and well-regulated, and offers excellent trading conditions: very tight spreads and fast ECN execution through the SWFX Swiss FX Marketplace technology. To sum up the above, here are the advantages and disadvantages with regards to this broker.

     

Pros  Cons
Very well-regulated Mediocre leverage levels
Tight spreads and low cost of trading High initial deposit required
ECN environment with deep liquidity  
Automated & Social trading available as well a MT4 bridge   

                         

Headquarters:  ICC, Route de Pré-Bois 20, 1215 Geneva 15 

Country: Switzerland 

 

Regulated by: FINMA (Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority)

 

Subsidiaries: Dukascopy Europe

 

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