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Kraken

Kraken Review
Trader's rating 1.4
Editor's rating 4

Account type

 

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Maker fee Taker fee
Standard Undisclosed 1:5 Max of 0.16% Max of 0.26%

 

Kraken is one of the most popular crypto currency exchanges. It is currently the world’s leader, in terms of Bitcoin to EUR trading volumes. 

 

The company, security of funds

 

Company Country Regulation
Payward, Inc, USA N/A

 

The Kraken exchange is operated by the San Francisco-based Payward Inc. The company is not under direct regulation by any agency, but this is not unusual in the crypto currency space (at least for now). 

 

The company’s overall reputation is pretty solid. It hasn’t experienced any major hacks yet. Furthermore, it was chosen as the platform, through which payments to creditors of ill-fated Mt.Gox received their claims. If you are not familiar with the case,  Mt.Gox was a huge Bitcoin exchange in Japan, which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2014, following a shady turn of events, which are another topic altogether. The company was then under special administration, which chose Kraken as a reliable partner, in order to facilitate payments to creditors.

 

Most of the coins on Kraken are kept in cold storage, with the exception of the ones currently used for trading, of course.

 

User reviews on Kraken are fairly mixed. Complaints vary from slow processing of deposits, lack of response by the customer support to stop-loss orders not triggering. While the latter is concerning the former two may be related to lack of staff, similarly to the issues which Poloniex currently has.

 

Trading conditions

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

 

Kraken offers quite a few trading instruments. Although the exchange is most famous for its Bitcoin and Ethereum to cash (EUR and USD) markets, altcoins are also available. Here is a list of all the coins you can trade one way or another: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, EOS, Dash, Ripple, Monero, Iconomi, Zcash, Augur, Gnosis, Stellar Limens, Dogecoin, Melon. Kraken plans to add new coins in the future.

 

It is worth mentioning this is one of the rather few exchanges which provides trading Bitcoin against currencies like the CAD and GBP. Although majors in the forex market, these are not often provided at crypto-exchanges. That being said liquidity may be an issue.

 

Minimum initial deposit

 

No minimum deposit level is specified by Kraken. Although this is not unusual in the cryptoverese, forex brokers (some of which allow Bitcoin trading) specify this on their websites. As an example, the industry leaders at IG proudly claim they do not have a minimum deposit requirement.

 

Leverage

 

Leverage is only offered for some of the instruments at the Kraken Exchange. It varies from 1:2 to 1:5. These levels may seem low, if you are used to forex trading, where a lot of brokers offer 1:500 in leverage. That being said, even they provide lower levels for crypto currency trading. For instance, the FCA-regulated industry veterans at HYCM currently offer 1:10 for Bitcoin trading.

 

Kraken charges a fee for leveraged trading. It varies from 0.01% to 0.02%, based on the instrument and is applied every four hours. This is a hassle you will not have if you chose to trade Bitcoin with a forex broker. Do keep in mind there is a huge difference between the services provided by forex brokers and crypto-exchanges. For a full breakdown, read this article

 

Fees

 

Kraken charges different fees for market “makers” and “takers”. At the time of writing of this review, they are 0.16% for the makers and 0.26% for the takers (for the lowest volumes). 

 

For those of you who are unaware of what these terms mean, trading on an exchange is slightly different than, forex trading. If you want to buy a particular instrument, you can do this directly, by getting it from the lowest available ask price (offer). This is an “aggressive” entry, which takes away market liquidity and is connected to a bigger fee (the taker fee). On the other hand, you can place your own bid in the order book, which then has to be triggered by another trader, who would sell his asset to you. In this case, you are providing liquidity to the market and pay a lower fee (the maker fee).

 

Overall, the fees provided by Kraken are in line with offerings by other exchanges.

 

Trading platform

 

When it comes to the trading platform, Kraken provides their own solution for some of the functionality, while relying on TradingView for the charting, similarly to Bitfinex.

 

There is pretty detailed access to the short term market dynamics. The tape, includes a historical bid/ask chart, which can be useful. Here is a preview:

 

 

The depth of the market is also presented in an easy to understand manner. Here is a preview:

 

You can see the book on the right side, with a graphical depiction on the left. 

 

The charts, provided by TradigView are a good tool for technical analysts. They are available via a click of a button next to the instrument list. The chart pops-up as a small external window, which you can later move, resize and so on. You can create an entire layout (even on a separate monitor) of your PC can handle the hardware requirements of modern browsers. Here is a preview:

 

 

Kraken also offers a mobile app, which is currently only available on iOS. Hopefully an Android implementation will come soon.

 

 

Methods of payment

 

Fiat currency payments at Kraken are only done via Bank Transfer. There is a slight advantage, if you have a bank account within the European Economic Area, since the SEPA payment system is supported. Crypto currency deposits are also available, but instant real money options such as Credit Card, PayPal or Neteller are not.

 

Conclusion

 

Kraken is a US-based crypto currency exchange. That being the case, the company operates a lot with Europan customers, as it is the world’s leader in terms of Bitcoin to EUR trading volumes. Kraken is as reputable, as one can get in the cryptoverse, with no major hacks or scandals so far. The trading environment feels good, providing detailed tape-reading potential. Commissions are in-line with the current industry averages. Here are Kraken’s strong and weak sides:

 

Pros Cons
Reputable company, no hacks yet  Credit cards and Paypal not accepted
High Bitcoin to EUR liquidity  Mobile app available only for iOS
Solid charting, by TradingView  Recent negative user reviews
Commissions in line with the industry  
Bank Transfers available  

 

FXTM

FXTM Review
Trader's rating 4.5
Editor's rating 5

Trading Accounts

 

Account type Minimum deposit   Minimum trade size Maximum leverage  Spreads (& Commission) Execution type
Cent  $10 0.01 1:500** from 1.5 pips  Instant
Standard  $100 0.01 1:500** from 1.3 pips Instant
ECN Zero.mt4 $200 0.01 1:500** from 1.5 pips  Market
ECN MT5 $500  0.01 1:500** from 0.2 pips + $2 / lot* Market
ECN $500  0.01 1:500** from 0.1 pips + $2 / lot* Market
PRO $25 000 0.01 1:500** from 0 pips Market

 

* Commission is calculated per standard lot of 100 000 currency base units (per side).
** Leverage depends on the country of residence, knowledge 
& experience of each Client.

 

FXTM offers a wide range of trading accounts, which may be categorized in two groups: Standard (Standard, CENT, and Shares accounts) and ECN (ECN MT4, ECN MT5, ECN ZERO and Pro).

 

In addition to the ones shown in the table above, there is a special account for trading in CFDs on shares, called Shares account, which is directly connected to NYSE and NASDAQ’s product price listings.

 

Furthermore, FXTM offers swap-free (Islamic) trading, available on all account types (except the MT5 one) and involve a fee of $ 1.7 per lot.

 

Micro, mini and standard lots are available on all account types.

 

Trading Conditions

 

Minimum initial deposit

In order to open an account with FXTM, one has to invest just $10, which is a symbolically low minimum initial deposit.

 

Spreads & Commission

Most of FXTM’s accounts are commission-free: Standard ones, as well as the ECN Zero and Pro accounts. Only ECN MT4 & ECN MT5 accounts involve a small commission fee of $4 (per standard lot round trip).

 

The floating spreads offered by this broker vary by account type. The tightest spreads are available on the ECN and Pro accounts; however, the latter is intended for institutional clients (with minimum initial deposit of $25 000), so we would recommend the ECN MT4 account. The typical spreads on these accounts amount to 0.4 pips on EUR/USD and if we include the commission (2 x $2), average trading costs for this pair are around 0.8 pips per lot, which is a very attractive offer.

 

Maximum leverage

High leverage levels are available with FT Global Limited – up to 1:1000. The broker utilizes a floating leverage system. 

 

However under Forextime Limited this is maximum up to 1:30.

 

As regards cryptocurrencies CFDs (available only in FT Global Limited), the maximum leverage available is 1:10, as they tend to be more volatile than traditional fiat currencies.

 

The Company. Security of funds

 

FXTM is a broker that truly suits the needs of traders of all skill levels and preferences. Its offering covers more than 240 tradeable instruments, including a number of currency pairs, various CFDs, as well as ctyptocurrencies. Keep in mind that trading CFDs on cryptocurrencies is only available under FT Global Limited.

 

Furthermore, clients of this broker may choose from market and instant execution, MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 trading platforms, and a wide range of trading accounts. Besides, this client-centric broker created an array of ways to provide its clients with effective trading knowledge and education. 

 

Forex Time (FXTM) was established in 2011 when one of the co-founders of Alpari separated from the Russia-based broker and launched one of his own under the FXTM brand. Since then, the company has opened a number of offices around the world, and is believed to be one of the fastest growing brokers in the industry. The latest of them is FXTM London office which opened its doors in April this year in order to better serve clients in the UK and Europe. Besides, the company is regulated in multiple jurisdictions:

 

Company

Country

Regulation

ForexTime Limited

Cyprus

CySEC

ForexTime Limited

South Africa

FSB

FT Global Limited

Belize 

IFSC

ForexTime UK Limited

UK

FCA

 

ForexTime Limited, doing business as FXTM, is licensed and regulated by some of the most reliable financial watchdogs worldwide - the Cyprus Commodities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) and UK's Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Bothe governmental agencies require licensed companies to hold at least €730 000 as a proof of financial stability and to keep client funds must be held in segregated accounts and regulated entities are required to report to the Commission on a regular basis.

 

Furthermore, CySEC and  UK’s FCA apply compensation schemes as an additional guarantee to clients’ funds. All CySEC-regulated companies are members of the Investor Compensation Fund, able to provide compensations to a maximum of 20,000 EUR per person in the event of broker insolvency. Clients of FCA-regulated brokers, on the other hand, are insured up to 50 000 GBP each.

 

As both Cyprus and UK are (still) part of the EU, MiFID regulations apply, allowing companies licensed in those countries to operate in all EU Member States. In spite of this, FXTM is officially registered with a number of other EU regulators: Germany’s BaFin, Italy’s CONSOB, France’s AMF, Spain’s CNMV and Norway’s FSAN.

 

What is more, FXTM (ForexTime Limited) is licensed by the Financial Services Board (FSB) of South Africa as a Financial Services Provider. The broker holds a category 1 license to act as an Intermediary in Securities and Instruments (Shares, Money market instruments, Bonds, Derivative instruments).

 

In line with CySEC proposiotions and ESMA guidelines introduced in 2016, FXTM announced it ensures that losses will never exceed the total available funds in client accounts. Actually, this means that the broker’s clients cannot lose more than they have deposited - a policy also known as negative balance protection.

 

Trading platforms

 

As we have already mentioned, FXTM supports both MetaQuutes platforms: MT4 and MT5. The broker offers both of them as desktop, web and mobile versions (for iOS & Android devices) and makes regular updates.

 

In spite of the number of enhancements made to MT5 lately (and the final introduction of hedging on both desktop and web versions), MetaTrader 4 is still preferred by most brokers and experienced traders. It provides an advanced charting package, lots of technical indicators, extensive back-testing environment and a variety of Expert Advisors (EAs). Thanks to its ease of use, MT4 is also suitable for beginner traders, for they can also find their way around it quite easily.

 

MT4’s successor, MetaTrader 5, allows the execution of orders in several financial markets and stock exchanges through a single trading account. The platform features advanced charting package, trading and analysis tools, alerts, signals, and customizable indicators. Besides, MetaQuites has recently made many significant upgrades to it, such as adding a tool for analyzing exchange markets, news management improvement, and most importantly the hedging feature.

 

For clients who prefer automated trading strategies through Expert Advisors (EAs), FXTM offers a designated forex VPS service, and technical traders can take advantage of the Trading Central technical analysis tool – free of charge. Besides, FXTM offers advanced copy-trading solution, called FXTM Invest.

 

Promotions

FXTM regularly organizes various promotions and trading contests, as it strives to offer its clients the best trading opportunities and to empower their skills and knowledge. These are mainly held by FT Global Limited where Terms & Conditions Apply.

 

At the time of writing this review FT Global Limited offers Loyalty Cashback program, where traders can get $2 – $5 rebates per lot anyone who deposits $10 up to $10000, based on their deposit value. Meanwhile, new clients switching from another broker get $4 for every lot they trade. (T&Cs apply)

 

In addition, FT Global Limited offers a Refer-a-friend bonus of $25 ONCE a referral becomes active (T&Cs apply).

 

Payment methods

 

FXTM offers various secure payment methods, including credit/debit card payments, Bank Wire transfers, and numerous E-wallets, such as Skrill, Neteller, Alsfa-Ckick, WebMoney, Western Union, Payza, dotpay, Yandex, Qiwi,and Baidu Pay. 

 

The above depends on your country of residence. 

 

Conclusion

 

ForexTime is a global and award-winning broker with clients from over 180 countries. It offers a wide array of almost everything: tradable products, trading accounts & platforms, payment methods, execution types, you name it.

 

Pros  Cons
Solid regulation (FCA, CySEC) No major disadvantages
Variety of tradable products (incl. cryptocurrencies in FT Global Limited only) and trading accounts offered  
Tight ECN spreads, low-cost trading
Low minimum initial deposit & commission fees  
Flexible leverage levels offered  
Negative Balance Protection  

 

Country: Cyprus

Regulated by:  CySEC (Cyprus), IFSC (Belize)

Licensed by the Financial Services Board (FSB) of South Africa, with FSP No. 4661

Website: www.forextime.com 

Promotions: 

Loyalty cashback programme

Switch to ForexTime

 

WHY FXTM

✓ Regulated broker.

✓ Advanced risk management and segregation of client funds held in top-tier banks.

✓ SWAP-free option available. 

✓ Leverage up to 1:1000.

✓ Tight spreads starting from 0 pips.

✓ 120+ instruments including currency pairs, Spot Metals, CFDs on Commodity Futures, CFDs on ETF’s and Indices and Share CFDs.

✓  Variety of tailor-made account types to suit the needs of any type of trader. 

✓ Full feature trading platforms available on multiple desktop and mobile devices. 

✓ Various secure and trusted payment methods. Including credit/debit card payments, E-wallets and Bank Wire transfers. 

✓ Investment programs such as FXTM Invest. 

✓ Regular Live and Demo Contests with amazing cash prizes (terms and conditions apply).

✓ Online forex courses and webinars for proper trader education.

✓ Local seminars held in different places around the world. 

✓ Daily in-depth fundamental analysis articles and videos.

✓ Customer Support team that speaks your language.

✓ Cutting edge mobile application to ensure you keep track of the markets at all times. 

Forex
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