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Oanda fxUnity Platform Sent to Early Retirement

Mar 01 2013

Less than a year after it launched its very own social trading network, the global forex broker Oanda has announced that in a week it will be shutting the platform down. 

fxUnity is scheduled for termination next Friday, March 8, 2013. Hopefully it will go quietly as all users close their open positions before 5:00 pm EST on that day, unless they want their open orders to be closed automatically by Oanda. The users of the social network will have the opportunity to either transfer their money to the broker's main trading platform, fxTrade, or cash out. 
Frankly speaking, I am not surprised by this development. fxUnity took off at a time when social trading was yet to emerge as a trend, and no too many brokers had jumped that wave. Albeit being one of the most technologically advanced brokers, Oanda made one strategic mistake though: it created a platform that was closed and only made it accessible for its own clients. 
If social trading hadn't picked up, maintaining such a restricted network would have probably been fine. However, it did become quite popular relatively quickly and this lead to both software developers and brokers coming up with various platforms and autotrading solutions. As a result, we witnessed the birth of many new networks – and the ones we saw being more successful than the others were the not broker-specific and gave traders the freedom of choice. Existing platforms that also worked on a more open principle – take ZuluTrade or FXSTAT for example – also picked up. 
IBFX was perhaps one of the very few brokers with successful proprietary social platforms – IBFX Connect is still vital with close to 15,000 registered demo and live users – and so is eToro with millions of people sharing and copying signals in eToro OpenBook. 
Then again, we see networks like Alpari's Trader Connect and Windsor Brokers’ Sawa, where there are only a few hundred users keeping quiet instead of actively communicating and sharing trading ideas and insight.
In-between the two extremes mentioned before we have services like Tradeo – open, free of charge, enjoying moderate levels of success and pretty good potential for development.
Being a closed network was probably not the only reason for Oanda to discontinue fxUnity, as I see another issue there: signals were free and signal providers were not getting paid, thus lacked any motivation to participate whatsoever. If you look at ZuluTrade, where traders are paid to broadcast trading ideas, you will see some very dynamic activity and signal providers who are entrusted with more than $10 million at a time – so the problem is obviously not mainstreem, but rather lays inside fxUnity.  
“Although we are discontinuing fxUnity, we remain focused on your forex needs and we are dedicating our resources toward developing new, world-class innovative products from the desktop to mobile devices,” read the official announcement of fxUnity's end. I am guessing that Oanda will not be working on a social trading platform – at least not for the time being, so I am curious to see whether it will start offering alternatives such as ZuluTrade or Mirror Trader. 

About OANDA 

OANDA Corporation has transformed the business of foreign exchange through an innovative approach to forex trading. The company’s leading online trading platform, fxTrade, introduced a number of firsts to the marketplace, including immediate execution; instant settlement on trades; trades and accounts of any size; 24/7 trading; and interest calculated by the second. OANDA was the first online provider of comprehensive currency exchange information, and today the company’s OANDA Rate® data are the benchmark rates for corporations, tax authorities, auditing firms, and central banks. OANDA also offers global currency transfers at ultra-competitive prices through a fast, efficient, automated platform.
OANDA Corporation has eight offices worldwide, in Dubai, Chicago, London, New York, Singapore, Tokyo, Toronto, and Zurich. OANDA is fully regulated by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the U.S. National Futures Association (NFA), the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC), the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA), and the Japanese Financial Services Agency (FSA).
TAGS: Oanda  fxTrade  fxUnity  social trading  trading platform  forex  ZuluTrade  trading signals  Mirror Trader  eToro OpenBook  IBFX Connect  Tradeo 

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