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Avatrade.com – Pros and Cons of Crypto Trading with Avatrade
- beginners-friendly with demo accounts
- cross-platform trading
- secure platform
- advanced order types available
- more than 250 markets
- terrible customer support
- slow withdrawals
- minimum anonymity
- cryptocurrencies are not accepted as a deposit method
- not an actual exchange, just speculation
- a lot of data already required for simple sign-up
Avatrade is one of the most established trading websites and one of the first outside the crypto world to include cryptocurrencies among its tradeable assets. The platform was founded in June 2006 by Negev Shekel Nosatzki and Emanuel Kronitz, and it currently trades more than 60 Billion USD per month.
The company is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland and has 10 more offices around the globe including three in Europe (Milan, Paris and Madrid), three in Asia (Tokyo, Beijing and UlaanBaatar), two in Africa (Abuja and Johannesburg), one in Australia (Sydney) and one in South America (Santiago de Chile). It serves customers worldwide, with the only exception of American citizens which are not allowed to deposit to the site.
Avatrade complies internationally with the British Virgin Islands Financial Services Commission, but it is regulated as well locally by the Central Bank of Ireland (reference C53877), the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (License 406684), the Financial Services Agency and Financial Futures Association of Japan (Licenses 1662 and 1574, respectively) and the Financial Services Board, FSB (license 45984).
Using the site: signing up
Registering anonymous accounts is technically impossible since strong AML/KYC policies are applied and identity verification is mandatory to withdraw any funds. Demo accounts are available and are separated from real ones, the user must first select the kind of account he wants to open; the registration process is the same, and demo accounts can be updated later to full accounts. A user is allowed to have more than one account of each type.
The signup process is relatively easy, taking no more than a couple of minutes and some personal information (first and last names, email, country, phone number, trading platform and base currency) to be completed. Social login is available via Facebook and Google accounts allowing to speed up the process.
Before creating the account, the user must select a trading platform among the five available and a base currency to operate in (either EUR or USD, being USD chosen by default). A comparison of the trading platforms is available here on Avatrade’s website, some platforms are available only to customers from a specific region. Metatrader 4 is recommended by the site.
Using the site: funding the account
Demo accounts have a lifespan of 21 days and 100,000 virtual USD to invest before they expire. Real accounts require a deposit before unlocking access to any trading features. Deposits are available worldwide through Credit Card and wire transfers; e-payments are offered for clients outside the EU and Australia via Paypal, Skrill, Webmoney and Neteller.
The minimum deposit depends on the currency and the method, at least 100 USD / EUR / GBP / AUD are required for credit cards and 500 USD / EUR / GBP / AUD for bankwires. Deposits in GBP and AUD are allowed only to nationals from the United Kingdom and Australia, respectively.
Using the site: trading
The site offers a wide range of markets, being cryptocurrencies one of them. Cryptocurrencies are offered on Avatrade as either CFD (ETH, DASH, Ripple, BTC and LTC) or currency pairs (ETC/USD and BTC/EUR). Data for Bitcoin and Litecoin is retrieved from BTC-e, while the remaining markets receive information from Poloniex. Since no actual exchange occurs but just speculation on the price of the assets, Avatrade does not have any cold or hot wallets nor do you within their platform.
Margin trading is supported on the site, with leverage depending on the particular market. A detailed explanation of margins, leverage and fees may be found here, by choosing “cryptocurrencies” in the markets drop-down list. Basically, leverage ranges from 5 to 20x inversely proportional with margin which goes from 20% to as low as 5%. If the user falls below its margin, open positions are automatically closed one by one until the account moves to a safe zone.
The exact trading process will depend on the selected platform. Metatrader particularly offers a web interface, which makes it extremely easy to monitor the market and open, manage and close positions. There is also a desktop application but it is currently only available for Windows (XP and above).
To use Metatrader first we have to log in and select the server indicated by Avatrade. The software lists by default some currency pairs, but adding crypto markets can be done in no time from the view menu.
Web interface: Metatrader 4 with Avatrade
Positions can be opened by clicking the desired pair or asset, and customizing the required parameters in the configuration dialog that pops up. To the date, Avatrade supports market (executed immediately), limit (closed if the price reaches a level where profit is still guaranteed), stop (closed at a specified price to avoid further losses), trailing (a stop loss order with margin), entry (to buy or sell at a specified price) and one cancels the other orders (two orders where one is cancelled if the other is triggered).
Placing an order for Ethereum
Open positions can be updated or cancelled at any time. Any active order is shown at the bottom of the page, and editing it is as simple as clicking on it and choosing the appropriate option. Besides managing the option itself, it is also possible to configure the parameters used to display statistics.
Managing orders: trying to edit my Litecoin_mini order
Charts are also available for any selected asset or pair, and they can be customized with ease to a good extent. Price movements are shown in real time with interactive indicators everywhere. Charts for cryptocurrencies are a bit misconfigured and times are sometimes displayed wrongly.
Using the site: mobile app
Avatrade offers two trading platforms for iOS and Android mobile devices: the in-house Avatradeact and Metatrader 4. If the user wants to trade from his smartphone, getting one of the apps is mandatory because the website is not responsive at all and does not offer a good user experience from smaller screens.
Avatrade also encourages its users to complement their mobile experience with additional applications, namely: Quotrek, Yahoo! Finance, Stock Twits, Stock Guru (iPad) and AnalystRT.
Security on Avatrade
Avatrade takes the security of their clients and their information very seriously, as they proudly portrait on their website. So far, in more than 10 years operating, the site has not being hacked or suffered any significant attack.
The entire website uses 256-bit SSL encryption and has an embedded True-site identity assurance seal. The company works with McAfee Secure to avoid identity theft and credit card fraud. It also holds a WebTrust license issued by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) which grants their compliance with a series of Trust Services principles and criteria.
Emails are not encrypted and passwords are sent as plain text. While exploring the platform, I even managed to retrieve the credentials of my real account by just clicking a button to request a new demo account (demo accounts are given a random password which is sent to the registered email, that is not a big issue since no real money is involved in demo accounts, but as I had already upgraded to full the password I had set was sent instead of a new one).
Customer experience with Avatrade
Customer reviews for Avatrade are mixed, readers from the news portal FX Empire have given mostly positive reviews commenting on bonuses, multi-platform availability and good customer support. On the other hand, reviews on Forex Peace Army (FPA) are negative in general with users reporting long delays with withdrawals and a difficult and tedious verification process; avatrade replies are generic, telling the users to message them on “feedback [at] avatrade.com”.
The customer support team can be reached via email, phone (+1-212-941-9609) or Zendesk live chat. They also offer a FAQ which does cover most topics but misses a couple of them and is too brief sometimes.
I tried to get in touch with customer support using live chat, a nice feature was the chance to select between 15 languages to receive help in. Once I logged in to the chat I was informed that there were 3 people queued, I waited for several minutes until I finally received an automatic message asking to rather contact them through email.
We have a “live” chat but we cannot assist you… what kind of customer support is that?
- beginners-friendly with demo accounts.
- Cross-platform trading.
- Secure platform.
- Advanced order types available.
- More than 250 markets.
- Terrible customer support.
- Slow withdrawals.
- Minimum anonymity.
- Cryptocurrencies are not accepted as a deposit method.
- Not an actual exchange, just speculation.
This platform is great for anyone that prioritizes security and choices over anonymity or fast withdrawals. Crypto-enthusiasts will find here an opportunity to profit from their passion, but not a place if they want to actually own some coins.