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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  

 

Coinbase

Coinbase Review
Trader's rating 2.8
Editor's rating 4.1

Our Experience

 

When testing the direct purchasing service, provided by Coinbase, we were relatively satisfied. After entering our debit card details it was saved as a payment method. We must notе that our card was 3D-secured, which appears to be a mandatory condition. Having your card stored in the website, as opposed to having to enter the details a second time (which is the case with some websites, dealing with external payment providers) is a huge benefit.

 

Here is a preview of the order screen:

The commission charged was slightly lower than the maximum of 4%, and we had full price transparency. When compared to the 8%, charged by Bitstamp (for direct card purchases), this is obviously preferable. The rate at which we bought Bitcoin was around €14 off the current market price, at GDAX. This is quite reasonable considering the fact we are talking about a volatile asset, trading around  €6,500 at the time of purchase. We tried comparing it with the rate provided by other exchanges, but the price differences (especially since we are talking about EUR trading) were much wider.

 

Trading Accounts

 

 

Account type Initial weekly limit Leverage Fees
Standard €325 None Up to 4%

 

Coinbase is one of the leading US companies in the world of crypto currencies. It operates two separate brands. One of them is Coinbase, a more retail consumer oriented platform for buying Bitcoin with fiat currencies, much like Bitstamp. On the other hand, GDAX (Global Digital Asset Exchange) is a more advanced crypto currency trading platform. This review will be focused on Coinbase.

 

The company, security of funds

 

Company Country Regulation
Coinbase USA NY BitLicense

 

Coinbase operates out of the US, with many subsidiaries around the world. It was the third company to be awarded the New York BitLicense. The story behind this license is quite controversial. In short, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) wanted to make the Big Apple a “Bitcoin trading hub”, much how it is one of the major centers of traditional finance. The idea, dating from 2015 wasn’t met with much enthusiasm by the leading companies, as many of them preferred to avoid application. Among the dozen who did, Coinbase obtained the license in January of 2017. The entire process is apparently so time (and effort) consuming, a lot of other major players opted out of it, which makes the license borderline useless. 

 

When it comes to crypto exchanges, hacking is an important topic. That being said there haven’t been any major hacks at Coinbase, although numerous individual cases have been reported. Some involve the hackers going past the two-factor authentication barrier, which one would believe to be very secure.

 

As we mentioned above, Coinbase is the retail-oriented brand of the company. As such it accepts fiat currencies and allows an instant purchase of several coins (more on the list, later). The vast majority of user complaints against Coinbase involve the size of the commission fees which the company charges. They vary by region and payment method, but go as high as 4%.

 

In 2018, Coinbase acquired an e-money license from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which allows it to provide payment services in the UK and issue e-money. Abiding by the FCA requirements, Coinbase will be keeping clients in segregated funds and will observe operational standards on par with the other regulated financial institutions.

 

Additionally, Coinbase is backed by a lot of investors, including major players in “traditional finance”. This is another factor which fans of the decentralized aspect of crypto currencies do not enjoy. 

 

Trading conditions

 

Trading instruments (cryptocurrencies)

Only a few coins are available at Coinbase, but they are the majors – Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. Don’t forget this is an entry-level service, which is aimed at people who are not that familiar with the world of crypto currencies. If you would like to buy less known coins (or altcoins), you could do that at another exchange, after transferring your newly acquired BTC/ETH/LTC there.

 

Weekly Limits

After verifying your e-mail, telephone, ID and credit card, at Coinbase, you can beginning purchasing coins. Our initial limit was €325 per week (via Credit Card). This may vary for you, based on your location (US clients will surely get a USD level). This level can be increased after you reach the maximum and some time has passed. This is done as a security measure and one should not feel frustrated about it.

 

Leverage

Coinbase does not offer margin trading. This is the more accepted practice, when dealing with crypto currencies. The forex brokers who offer Bitcoin trading, on the other hand mostly provide CFDs on it and margin trading is allowed. For a full comparison of trading crypto currencies on an exchange and with a forex broker read this post

 

Fees

The commission structure at Coinbase is one of its criticisms. If you decide to deposit via Credit Card, for instance, you can buy your chosen coin directly. While this may appear to be convenient, it comes at a price – for most countries the commission fee on such a purchase can go as high as 4%. 

 

Alternatively, you can fund your account with fiat currencies, which you can then use to trade. In that case the fees are set at 1.5%, which is pretty high. However if trading is what you are looking for, the company’s other brand – GDAX (as well as many others) are alternatives.

 


Trading platform

 

Coinbase does not provide a platform, as much as it offers an interface similar to an online banking application. Here is an overview (click to zoom-in):

 

 

There is a basic chart in the top section, allowing you to switch between the three supported instruments and multiple timeframes. On the bottom you have a column with all of your wallets with the company as well as a transaction history column. Overall, it doesn’t get any simpler than this. That being the case, we must reiterate, this is only the “real-money payments” brand of the company, while a more dedicated platform is also available at GDAX.

 

Methods of payment

 

When it comes to the methods of payment available at Coinbase, they include Bank Transfer, Credit/Debit Card and PayPal (only for US clients). While we discussed the transaction fees above, it’s worth pointing out that no additional fees are charged for crypto currency transfers to other exchanges or wallets.

 

Conclusion

 

Coinbase is one of the major players in the crypto currency space. The company is focused on allowing people who are not familiar with Bitcoin and allows them an easy way of acquiring crypto currencies. While there isn’t any trading platform to speak of, the company has another brand (GDAX) which provides exactly that. We feel it would be much better for Coinbase to honestly state their trading fees are higher, but you can use your account at their other platform, in a big banner upon account cration. Here are Coinbase’s pros and cons: 

 

Pros

Cons

New York BitLicense Few altcoins available
No major hacks yet High trading fees
Accepts Bank Transfers and Credit Cards  
Easy to use interface  
Ability to transfer crpyto to wallet  

 

Forex
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