Best Stories of the Week

While Japan Slows Down, West Sees IPOs, Launches and Awards

ThinkForex, eToro, TradeStation, GMO Click and Monex all appear in the passing week's top articles.

Over the past week, news from all over the worldwide online trading business has been largely positive, with the exception of Japan. American, European and other international brokers revealed that they have expanded their offerings and footprints. Meanwhile, the industry’s top professionals met at a prestigious event in London. The price of bitcoin also made headlines again with wild fluctuations that have not been seen for a long time.

Insurance of One Million GBP

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On Sunday we reported that in order to make its new UK branch stand out from the competition, ThinkForex has launched insurance protection of £1m per client. The firm also added a spread betting offering on the MT4 platform in order to provide the British market with its associated benefits.

The importance of this move is that it shows how insurance and risk management have become so critical for traders following the CHF debacle, that it is now used as a differentiating factor by a broker. The ThinkForex policy was underwritten by QBE Underwriting Limited and other participating syndicates at Lloyd’s of London, enhancing its credibility.

London Summit 2015

On Monday evening, the annual Finance Magnates Summit kicked off in London with the Networking Blitz party event. Throughout the following day, our writers reported from the scene with live updates and photos of everything that was going on in the upmarket venue of The Brewery.

The event coverage included releases of new products, images of exciting panels with sports stars and reviews of fintech startups’ pitches. The Summit concluded with the Finance Magnates Award Ceremony where this year’s best brokers, service providers and technology developers were announced.

IPOs on the Horizon?

On Tuesday we reviewed the possible contenders for the next online trading IPO. Market sources suggest that few contenders, including both the usual suspects and some surprising names, are looking to float.

The analysis provided a look into the latest estimations, rumours and speculations about the firms that might go public one day soon. It also recapped how being publicly listed hasn’t proven to be an attractive position for some firms in 2015.

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Freemium FX News

On Wednesday the US broker (and part of the Monex Group) TradeStation added a new streaming research and news service by qbeats to its app store. While American and many other brokers offer market news via in-house analysis departments or partnered providers, this service offers content from completely different third parties.

The articles are provided by companies that want to monetize their publications, including Moody’s, Informa Global Markets, the American Petroleum Institute and more. It works on the Freemium model, whereby clients can access some content for free but purchase unbundled premium articles on a pay-per-view basis.

Cooldown in Japan

As brokers and exchanges from around the world reported FX volumes last week most were showing positive or mixed results. However, on Thursday two Japanese giants revealed that October was the weakest period so far this year in terms of FX trading volumes.

Both GMO CLICK and Monex Group suffered painful drops in volumes, compared to not only October 2014 but to the low JPY volatility September as well.

The New eToro

On Friday we reported that eToro officially unveiled the latest version of its new social trading platform in Dublin. The new solution which has been built up from scratch will be replacing both eToro’s OpenBook and the WebTrader platforms.

The social trading provider has been working on the platform for a couple of quarters now with Finance Magnates providing a sneak peek preview of the new tool as early as March.

Explosive Volatility

One digital currency/trading instrument/massive pyramid scheme that has been showing intense mood swings all week is Bitcoin. After slowly making its way to $300 per Bitcoin, the BTC/USD exchange rate suddenly took off on Monday, jumping over 10% in a few hours.

By Thursday, BTC had soared to $500 and then fallen back again to under $400. This led to investors looking for a rationale behind the madness, such as reports of Chinese traders flocking to a Ponzi scam orchestrated by a Russian fraudster and former parliamentarian causing the issue.

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