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OANDA

OANDA Review
Trader's rating 2.9
Editor's rating 3.8

Trading Accounts

 

Account type Minimum deposit Minimum trade size Maximum leverage Avg.Spread 
Standard $ $1 - 1:50  1.4 pips on EUR/USD, variable

 

There is only one standard type of trading account at OANDA. On the one hand, this limits clients’ choice; on the other, it means that all account holders are treated equally.


To make things even better, this broker doesn’t require any minimum deposit, nor minimum trade size. However, you need to have at least $1 in your account balance in order to initiate a trade.


The Company


OANDA is one of the pioneer online forex brokers. Established back in 1996, It is now a large group with offices in Toronto, San Francisco, New York, London, Singapore, Tokyo, and Sydney. ALL group companies are duly regulated by the relevant authorities in the US, Singapore, Canada, the UK, Japan and Australia.


OANDA offers Internet-based forex trading and currency information services to both retail and institutional customers. The broker is a market maker, having one of the largest currency databases in the world. Its product portfolio includes forex, index, commodity & bond CFDs, as well as precious metals.


Security of Funds


OANDA Corporation is a registered Futures Commission Merchant and Retail Foreign Exchange Dealer with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and is a member of the National Futures Association.


Brokers that are registered with the NFA are obliged to comply with an extensive set of rules. Unfortunately, these rules are often limiting from traders' point of view, but there is no way around them. For instance, hedging is not allowed and leverage is limited to 1:50, while European brokers are free to provide leverages up to 1:1000 or even higher than that.


Besides, NFA-registered brokers are required to maintain a net capital of at least $20 million to guarantee customers’ positions, which makes them super safe to invest with. Similar minimum capital requirements apply in most jurisdictions, for instance UK-based brokers are obliged to hold at least 730 000 EUR in order to prove their financial stability, and Australian ones must possess a minimum of $ 1 million in order to operate legitimately.


All OANDA Subsidiaries, including OANDA Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. (Singapore), OANDA (Canada) Corporation ULC (Canada), OANDA Europe Limited (UK), OANDA Japan Inc. (Japan) and OANDA Australia Pty Ltd. (Australia) are duly licensed and regulated by the respective bodies.


Trading Conditions


Minimum Initial Deposit

OANDA has no minimum deposit requirements for opening an account. This makes it attractive for risk averse or inexperienced traders who are not willing to invest a large amount of money.


Most brokers require a certain minimum initial deposit in order to cover the costs related to opening a new account. For instance, Forex.com demands $250 from its clients to start with, and FXCM - $50.


Average spreads & Commissions
This broker offers variable spreads, the average ones on EUR/USD amounting to 1.4 pips, which is on the upper end of average. Clients, however, take advantage of commission-free trading, as OANDA doesn’t charge any commission for their trading services, nor any account maintenance fees. Instead, the broker gets its remuneration through the spread.


In comparison, FOREX.com, also a global FSA-regulated broker and market maker, offers average spread of 1.8 pips on EUR/USD and also charges no commission fees. You may look up real-time spread of 15 leading brokers here.


Maximum Leverage
OANDA offers a maximum leverage level of 1:50 on FX products, which is quite low, however, the broker has no choice, since US regulator has set a limitation on leverage ratios. CFTC limits leverage available to retail forex traders in the United States to 1:50 on major currency pairs and 20:1 for all others.


If you need higher leverage, you can pick a broker, who offers leverage ratios of 1:500 and exceeding 1:500 from this list. We advise traders to exercise caution when using higher leverage levels, for such rates may not only multiply their earnings on a small deposit, but also lead to heavy losses in excess of the initial investments made.


Trading Platforms


Oanda provides its clients with a choice of threetrading platforms: its custom-made fxTrade, Protrader Multi-Connect (PTMC) and the popular MetaTrader 4.


fxTrade comes in desktop, web and mobile versions. It has a simple, yet effective interface, and what is more important – superb execution speed. According to OANDA`s website, this platform executes 98% of trades within 0.057 seconds or less, which is super-fast.


Furthermore, fxTrade is equipped with intuitive and powerful charting features, multiple sub-accounts to test different trading strategies and financial news and market analysis from leading news providers.


We presume that fxTrade is aimed mostly at new traders, since it has all the usual functionalities, but more advanced features are missing.

 

Oanda`s proprietary  fxTrade. Click to enlarge.

 

Oanda recently added to its platforrms line up Protrader, developed by PFSOFT. Protrader offers everything regular forex trading platforms do: Advanced charts and technical analysis, indicators, various order types, customization options, and auto trading options. In fact, Protrader has created AlgoStudio - a professional algorithmic strategy development tool. It enables users to test different types of data aggregation: time, ticks, range, Renko, LineBreak, etc.

 

In addition, Oanda offers the powerful MetaTrader 4, which is highly regarded by the online trading community mostly because it allows users to fully automate their trades. By choosing from a wide range of Expert Advisors (EAs), traders may sit back, while the program does all the work. What is more, it offers a number of technical indicators, extensive back-testing environment and advanced charting package. Here is a list of more forex brokers offering MT4 platform.


In addition, fxTrade bridges directly to MetaTrader 4 using custom-built technology, which we find useful.


Methods of Payment


OANDA offers its clients various methods to deposit/withdraw funds to and from their accounts. They vary, depending on the OANDA division of registration, but the main payment modes are debit/credit card, bank wire, checks, PayPal and UnionPay.


Conclusion


OANDA is a leading global forex broker, offering online trading in a wide range of currency pairs, CFDs and precious metals under attractive conditions. To sum up the above, here are the advantages and disadvantages of this broker:

 

Pros  Cons
Variety of platforms offered  Market maker
Mt4 available Low maximum leverage
No initial deposit required  
No minimum trade size  
No commission and account maintenance fees  
Well-regulated  

 

Find Better Broker 

Headquarters:140 Broadway, 46th Floor, New York, NY 10005 

Country: United States

Regulated by: CFTC, NFA , MAS, FSA, IIROC, DFSA

Branches:
OANDA UK 
OANDA Japan 
OANDA Asia Pacific
OANDA Middle East 

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  

 

Forex
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