de | cn | ru
  VS.    

Rakuten Securities Hong Kong

Rakuten Securities Hong Kong Review
Trader's rating 5
Editor's rating 3

Trading Accounts

 

Account type Minimum deposit Minimum trade size Maximum leverage Average spreads
Rakuten FX None 1k unit 1:20 0.9 pips
Trading Station None 1k unit 1:20 0.4 pips + US$0.08/lot (roundturn)

 

Rakuten FX Spread Highlight

Currency Pair
Spread
Currency Pair
Spread
Currency Pair
Spread
USD/JPY
0.9
EUR/USD
0.9
GBP/USD
1.6
NZD/USD
2.1
EUR/GBP
1.8
EUR/CHF
2.7
USD/HKD
3.0
HKD/JPY
4.0
AUD/USD
1.3
EUR/JPY
2.2
GBP/JPY
2.2
CHF/JPY
2.6
CAD/JPY
2.2
AUD/JPY
1.9
NZD/JPY
2.4
GBP/CHF
3.0
AUD/NZD
2.6
CNH/JPY
2.3
AUD/CHF
2.3
NZD/CHF
5.4
ZAR/JPY
4.6
NOK/JPY
4.3
TRY/JPY
3.7
SGD/JPY
4.6

 Spreads on Rakuten FX platform

 

Rakuten Securities Hong Kong offers trading in 40 currency pairs on two robust platforms. Potential clients can register and download its Rakuten FX trading platform demo for trial before account opening or actual trade.

 

Note that there is a difference in the margin requirement for hedging in the two types of accounts. Both Rakuten FX and Trading Station platforms require margin only on one side and margin counts on the side requires larger amount.

 

 

The Company. Security of Funds

 

Company Country Regulation
Rakuten Securities Hong Kong Hong Kong SFC

 

Rakuten Securities Hong Kong (Rakuten Securities HK) is a subsidiary of the Japanese forex giant Rakuten Securities, one of the three largest forex brokers in Japan, and also a pioneer in leveraged foreign exchange trading in Hong Kong.

 

Rakuten Securities, Inc. (“Rakuten Securities”) is the securities division of Rakuten Group which operates as Japan’s largest E-Commerce provider. Rakuten Group is based in Japan, but operates globally through various subsidiaries offering business services like e-commerce, travel, banking, securities, credit card, e-money, portal and media, online marketing and professional sports, etc.

 

Actually, Rakuten Securities acquired the Hong Kong brokerage from FXCM in the autumn of 2015 and subsequently rebranded and relaunched it in 2016.

 

Rakuten Securities HK is regulated by the local Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). This means that the client trading accounts are well protected and fully within Hong Kong's legal jurisdiction.

 

The SFC licensing procedure is a long and complicated one, involving submission of various documents, a test for officials representing the firm, and maintaining adequate accounting and control systems. The commission also exercises supervision over licensed companies, performing on-site reviews and off-site monitoring. There are also stringent capital requirements for the brokers. Since 2015 there is also the requirement that the license holders allow investors to claim damages if the intermediary is selling or recommending a financial product that is not reasonably suitable for the client. 

 

 

Trading Conditions

 

Minimum initial deposit

Rakuten Securities HK does not have a minimum deposit requirement. Naturally, in order to trade, one does need to put in some money in their account.

 

Spreads and commissions

Rakuten Securities HK offers fairly tight spreads. The Trading Station account has tighter spreads, but there is also a commission. The calculation of this fee appears to be a somewhat complicated affair, measured in pips, and ultimately turns out to be less favorable. As per Rakuten's own calculations, the commission is around 0.8 pips, which added to the spread, amounts to a total of 1.2 pips, compared to only 0.9 pips on Rakuten FX platform.

 

Leverage

The leverage of Rakuten Securities HK is 1:20, which is not much, but many jurisdictions have imposed caps on leverage at similar levels. For example, the maximum leverage allowed to retail clients in Japan is 1:25 and in Europe – 1:30 (as of August, 2018). The reason for such restrictions is the fact that using high leverage levels involves significant risk of loss.

 

 

Trading platforms

 

Rakuten Securities HK offers two trading platform and neither of them is MetaTrader 4, which is relatively rare among brokers. Instead, it has Rakuten Securities Japan's proprietary platform Rakuten FX, iSpeedFX and Trading Station, which was “inherited” from FXCM.

 

All platforms have applications for mobile devices and web versions.

 

Rakuten FX is an award-winning user-friendly platform with robust functionality and an AS Streaming trading function that allows speedy user execution and one click order execution. The platform features 7 order types, notifications, real time reports, trading from charts, 9 types of charts, 44 basic and advanced indicators and customizable parameters.

 

Click on image for larger view

 

Trading Station allows users to trade raw spread directly from top liquidity providers with No Dealing Desk (NDD) execution with a low fixed commission and using the essential functions of the proprietary Marketscope charting tool. The platform supports five order types, hedging, trading from charts and 60 basic and advanced indicators. It also offers one click or double click order execution and “simple” and “advanced” dealing rates, real time news and customization.


 

Click on image for larger view

 

   

Methods of payment

 

Rakuten Securities HK accepts client payments through ATM, internet banking and bank counter, for Hong Kong residents. For international clients the funding options are bank wire and post office wire (for clients in China). The broker also accepts checks and e-checks.

 

 

Conclusion

 

The mere fact that Rakuten Securities HK is regulated by SFC and is a subsidiary of a Japanese broker suggests it is stable and reliable. Hong Kong is not such a large market in itself, but China is, which makes the regulation lucrative. Besides, the trading conditions of Rakuten Securities HK are transparent and more than attractive: low spreads, no minimum investment requirement, three great trading platforms available.

 

To sum up the above:

 

 

Pros Cons
Regulated in HK, part of an international group No MetaTrader
Tight fixed spreads Low leverage
No deposit requirement  
Two user-friendly trading platforms, individual training  

 

Bitstamp

Bitstamp Review
Trader's rating 1
Editor's rating 3.9

Our Experience

We registered an account at Bitstamp and after confirming the ID, we decided to make a credit card deposit. What first stroke us, was the fact you can only directly buy Bitcoin via credit card, instead of simply transferring funds to your account. The purchase went fine, after dealing with an external payment services provider. We immediately sold the coins, in order to have a USD trading balance. At that point we realized the 8% fee on credit card transfers (at the time, now the fee is 5%) truly applies.

 

Later on, we traded with the platform and everything felt fine. While the speed of execution was slightly lower than the one provided by most forex trading platforms, it was still pretty decent. The order book seemed to have some trading robots, which moved the best bids/asks constantly, but this didn’t hinder trading at all.


We also made a SEPA Bank transfer to this exchange. The funds arrived less than 24 hours later and the only fees we paid were the ones charged by our local bank.

 

We ended up having some Litecoin, which we transferred to Bittrex, in order to continue our journey in the world of altcoins. Additionally, we left some Ethereum, which we sent to a newly created wallet at MyEtherWallet – a wallet, which allows users to control their private keys. All of these blockchain transactions, which are external to Bitstamp happened in minutes. We are yet to test the speed of bank transfer withdrawals, from this exchange.

 

Trading Accounts

Account type Minimum deposit Leverage Fee
Standard Undisclosed N/A 0.25%*

*Fees can go lower for bigger traders

 

Bitstamp is one of the few cryptocurrency exchanges which accepts deposits directly from traditional payment methods. In essence this service can be used to obtain Bitcoin (via a bank transfer or credit card) which you are then free to send.

 

The company, security of funds

Company Country Regulation
Bitstamp Ltd. Luxembourg CSSF

 

Bitstamp Ltd. is the company behind this project. They have offices in Luxembourg, London and New York. More importantly, this is the first fully licensed cryptocurrency exchange in Europe. It is regulated by the (Luxembourg Financial Industry Supervisory Commission, known as the CSSF). As we often warn against the risks involved in dealing with unregulated or off-shore forex brokers, it is nice to see a company in the cryptoverse, which is registered with a watchdog.

 

The CSSF Licensing ensures the company periodically files reports with the appropriate agencies. Bitstamp is registered as a “Payment institution”, which implies you can be sure about the real-money transfers you send to (and receive from them). That being said we don’t know if mandatory policies on fairness of execution are in place. No matter the case, this is much more than, what most other crypto-exchanges provide in terms of regulation.

 

Bitstamp was hacked in early 2015. Afterwards the company rebuild its entire trading platform. Nowadays they claim to store 98% of their client’s cryptocurrencies on cold storage, while only 2% are directly available on the exchange. This is a major improvement in terms of security.

 

Bitstamp partnered with Swissquote, in July 2017.  The Swiss bank and broker, decided to trust this company, in order to provide Bitcoin trading to its clients. This speaks volumes in terms of Bitstamp’s credibility. At the time of writing of this review, there is no integration with the MetaTrader4 (MT4) platform. Trading is instead done on the Swissquote’s website, with limited functionality. This is bound to change in the future. 

 

The user reviews for Bitstamp are fairly mixed. There are lots of satisfied customers and people claiming dissatisfaction with the support. Similarly to Poloniex, the company may be experiencing more significant traffic than expecting, but the negative comments are not that harsh. 

 

Trading conditions

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

Bitstamp allows trading cryptocurrencies against the old-fashioned EUR and USD. On the other hand few coins are supported, namely Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple. If you want to dive into more exotic altcoins, you can use Bitstamp as a way to convert your cash into one of these three and then transfer it to a different exchange which supports your preferred altcoin.

 

Minimum initial deposit

There is no information on the minimum deposit at Bitstamp. While this is not that unusual, when dealing with cryptocurrencies, the company does accept traditional payments. There may be a level below, which they would not accept your transfer. We are used to forex brokers disclosing their minimum entry levels beforehand, like easyMarkets, who require $100.

 

Leverage

Margin trading is not available at Bitstamp. For those of you who do not know what margin trading is – this is a mechanism by which you trade with more buying power than the money you have in your account. When it comes to froex brokers, they allow substantial leverage levels, like 1:500, meaning you can trade with positions worth 500 times more than your investment. The catch is your account serves as a guarantee, and if you start loosing, there will be a point at which your positions will be closed (this is known as receiving a margin call, followed by a margin stop-out).

 

Fees

The commissions, charged by Bitstamp go as high as 0.25% for cash to cryptocurrency trades (for the lowest volumes). As is the practice with most other exchanges, they go lower with bigger volumes. The unusual aspect of this offering is that there is no incentive for the market “makers” (people who place orders on the exchange, instead of aggressively buying from the ones which other traders have placed). Most cryptocurrency exchange provide an ever so slightly lower fee for traders who provide liquidity.

 

Comparing this to the spreads provided by forex brokers is rather hard, as we have mentioned in our general comparison of the two type of service providers. On the other hand, Bitstamp’s fees are in-line with what other cypto-exchanges are offering.

 

 

Trading platform

 

Bitstamp’s trading platform is web-based. This is the norm with most cryptocurrency exchanges, unlike the situation with forex brokers, where downloadable software (like MT4) is prevalent. At first glance Bitstamp’s trading platform looks solid. A big emphasis is placed on charting, with a nice package. It feels pretty similar to cTrader, although it lacks a lot of the functionality. Lots of technical indicators and tools are available, but most forex trading platforms still provide even more options. That being said Bitsatmp’s offer is better that what we have seen at a lot of other crupto-exchanges. Here is a preview of the charting (click to zoom-in):

 

 

The order book is located below the chart and is one of the best ones available (at such exchanges). Here is a screenshot (click to zoom-in):

 

 

It was clearly designed by someone with trading experience as the bid and ask price are next to each other, where the two tables meet (on the left). This allows for a quick and easy comparison of the market depth, although the size of the orders (outer columns) must also be taken into account.

 

Methods of payment

 

Bitstamp accepts payments via Bank Transfer, Credit/Debit Card and cryptocurrencies. There are some specifics regarding the bank transfers, with EU clients being more easily accepted via the SEPA System. While this system is relatively faster than traditional bank transfers, it may come at higher fees (depending on your bank). On the other hand Credit Card transfers, while instant, come with an 8% fee. That being said, virtually anybody can transfer fiat currencies to this exchange. This feature is probably their biggest advantage over others.

 

Conclusion

 

Bitstamp is the first regulated European cryptocurrency exchange. The company keeps 98% of customer’s coins on cold storage wallets, which is a pretty good security measure. Bitstamp is one of the relatively few exchanges who accept deposits by Credit Card and Bank Transfer. Three of the major coins are traded directly against EUR and USD. On the other hand the exchange offers few alternative coins. In essence this is a great gateway for those who are new to the world of cryptocurrencies. Here is a summary Bitstamp’s strong and weak sides:

 

Pros Cons
Luxembourg licensing Few altcoins available
Accepts Bank Transfers and Credit Cards Was hacked in 2015
Competitive commissions 5% fee on credit card purchases
Relatively nice trading platform  
98% of coins kept in cold storage  

 

Forex
de | cn | ru