The most appealing change in FX technology is an ongoing migration from desktop GUI clients written in Java, Flash, .NET etc. to web-based trading desks, leveraging the plethora of capabilities of modern HTML5-based web browsers.
The list of technologies available under the hood is thrilling, i.e. WebSocket and Server-Sent Events for real-time communications and fast execution, HTML Canvas for charts and technical analysis, WebRTC for peer-to-peer exchange – and most important, all of this is fast enough to compete on par with the best desktop-based trading applications.
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Advantages of Web-Based Trading Desks
The immediate advantage of 100% web-based trading desks is that they are immediately available from everywhere, without the need of installing cumbersome software packages, dealing with updates, security patches etc. Just open your browser, type your broker name, or click on a bookmark and you are all set! Until very recently though, web clients were offered as an option by some of the FX brokerages; however, the technological advantages of HTML5 and wide browser support finally became so apparent that some of the new FX startups went all in, offering the web trading desk as the primary platform interface (including my own company, EntryForex).
Ultimately, using HTML5 features properly requires significant technological investments, and not many companies are currently able to afford it, while having a very convenient option of sticking with very familiar, but a little boring MT4. But these changes are inevitable, and some technological diversity is long needed in the FX community – how else the customers will make an informed choice between thousands of remarkably similar brokerages that had been using the same old platform for more than a decade?