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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  

 

 

easyMarkets

easyMarkets Review
Trader's rating 5
Editor's rating 3

Trading Accounts

  

Account type   Minimum deposit  Minimum trade size Maximum leverage Spreads
Standard $100 0.05 1:400 3 pips*
VIP $5000 0.1 1:400 1 pip

 

*Those Standard account holders who deposit $250 or more, get VIP spreads.

 

easyMarkets offers its clients two trading accounts to choose from, available on two platforms – the good old MetaTrader 4 and the broker’s proprietary web-based platform. Both account types offer commission-free trading, fixed spreads and leverage up to 1:400. Micro lots are available for trade only to Standard account holders.

 

There are a number of features available solely to VIP account holders, such as Personal Market Analyst, Loyalty Rebates, Express Withdrawals, Free trading signals, Free Breaking news, SMS Alerts, etc.

 

If you don’t need such extras or simply don’t want to invest 5 thousand bucks, you can get VIP spreads on your Standard account by depositing $250.

 

Islamic (swap-free) accounts compliant with the Sharia law are also available to clients who don’t want to earn interest for religious reasons.

 

The Company. Security of Funds

 

Company

Country

Regulation

Easy Forex Trading Ltd.

Cyprus

CySEC

EasyMarkets PTY Ltd.

Australia

ASIC

 

easyMarkets (previously Easy-Forex) is the trading name of Easy Forex Trading Ltd. – a Cyprus-based brokerage, established back in 2003. It provides its services in over 160 countries worldwide, offering trading in 175 products ranging from currencies, CFDs on indices commodities, metals and Bitcoin, as well as options and forward contracts. 

 

Easy Forex Trading Ltd, doing business as easyMarkets, is licensed and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC, license No 079/07), and its Australian subsidiary - EasyMarkets PTY Ltd. - is authorized and regulated by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC).


CySEC applies certain rules to license holders, one of them being the requirement such firms to hold a minimum capital in order to conduct their business operations legitimately. The Commission requires Cyprus-based forex brokers to hold at least €730 000. As regulation of financial services providers usually involves such a requirement, Australian brokers are obliged to hold a minimum of $1,000,000 by ASIC.


Furthermore, the Cypriot financial watchdog applies a compensation scheme as additional guarantee to clients’ funds. All CySEC-regulated companies are members of the Investor Compensation Fund, the compensation fund of last resort for customers of authorized financial services firms. If the Company becomes insolvent or ceases trading, it is able to pay compensation to its covered clients, amounting to a maximum of 20,000 EUR.


Unlike many other EU-based brokers, Australian ones are not covered by any compensation scheme.

 

Focus on client protection 

 

 

 

 

easyMarkets is a broker that places a special focus on client protection. Apart from offering tight fixed spreads, which do not widen during news releases, easyMarkets is one of the few brokers that provide Negative Balance Protection. This means that you can never lose more funds than you have deposited, even though you are trading on margin.

 

Besides, it allows forex traders to cancel losing trades via its state-of-the-art feature dealCancellation, available on its in-house platform.

 

Trading Conditions

  

Minimum initial deposit

In order to open an account with easyMarkets, one has to deposit at least $100, which is a reasonable and competitive minimum initial deposit.

 

Spreads & Commissions

This broker offers fixed spreads, which allows traders to predetermine their costs. What is more, no commission fees are charged, as the broker generates revenues through the bid-ask spread paid by traders on each transaction.

 

Although fixed spreads generally tend to be wider that variable ones, this is not the case with easyMarkets – their spreads amount to 1 pips on EUR/USD and are accessible with a deposit of $250. In comparison, Exness and Plus500 (also regulated by CySEC) offer fixed spreads amounting to 2 pips for this currency pair.

 

Leverage

The maximum leverage level offered by this broker is 1:400, which is considered comparatively high, as CySEC has recently proposed the default leverage provided by brokers to be 1:50. The reason for such leverage limitations is that higher leverage involves higher risk of heavy losses. Nonetheless, many Cyprus-based brokers offer high leverage levels: XM – up to 1:888, FXTM – up to 1:500.

 

Trading Platforms

 

Clients of easyMarkets may choose from the broker’s proprietary web-based platform and the popular Metatrader 4 (MT4).

 

easyMarkets’ in-house platform offers advanced charts, live market news, technical analysis and sentiment all in one screen, one click trading (from the Market Explorer).

 

What is more, platform users get free Guaranteed stop loss and dealCancellation option, which are indeed two great risk management tools.

 

 

easyMarkets’ in-house web platform. Click to enlarge

 

 

In addition, easyMarkets offers the powerful MT4, allowing traders to fully automate their operations by choosing from a wide range of Expert Advisors (EA) and let the program do all the work. This is one of the reasons this platform to be preferred by most traders. Besides, it offers a number of useful technical indicators, extensive back-testing and advanced charting package, which includes the option to trade straight from the chart. Here is a list of more forex brokers offering MT4 platform.

 

Bonuses & Promotions

By the time of writing this review, there are two promotions offered (effective until March 31, 2016)

-        - First deposit bonus on initial deposit ranging from 30% to 50% (up to $2 000);

-         - Refer-a-friend bonus from $25 to $500 for new clients who deposit at least $250. 

 

Methods of Payment

 

easyMarkets offers a variety of payment methods, including credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, Visa electron), bank transfer and e-wallet systems, such as, Skrill, Neteller, WebMoney, SoFortüberweisung, American Express, Giropay, Ideal and UnionPay.

 

For withdrawals to credit/debit cards and eWallets there is no minimum withdrawal amount. For withdrawals to bank accounts, a minimum amount of USD 50 is required. All deposits and withdrawals with easyMarkets are commission-free.

 

Conclusion

 

easyMarkets is a well-regulated broker that offers trading in wide range of financial products products worldwide through both its proprietary platforms and the industry’s standard MT4. This is a broker that places a special focus on client protection. To sum up the above, here are the advantages and drawbacks with regards to this broker: 

  

 

Pros

Cons

Well-regulated

No significant disadvantages

Tight fixed spreads, no commission fees

 

Variety of trading platforms offered, MT4 available

 

Negative balance protection, option to cancel losing trades

 

Promotions available

 

 

Headquarters: P.O.Box 53742, Limassol 3317
 

Country: Cyprus

 

Regulated by: CySEC – License Number 079/07

Forex
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