In the FX space, a currency trading platform is a software provided by brokers to their respective client base, garnering access as traders in the broader market.
Most commonly, this reflects an online interface or mobile app, complete with tools for order processing.
Every broker needs one or more trading platforms to accommodate the needs of different clients.
Being the backbone of the company’s offering, a trading platform provides clients with quotes, a selection of instruments to trade, real-time updates on quotes, charts and is the main frontend which customers are facing.
Brokers either use existing trading platforms and sometimes customize them, or develop their own platform from scratch.
Since the beginning of the retail FX trading business MetaQuotes and its platforms MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5) have been the industry standard, especially when it comes to automated trading.
MT4 Shows Resiliency
While MT4 has long been seen as ubiquitous amongst brokers’ offerings, a targeted push by MetaQuotes themselves has led to broader adoption of MT5 in recent years.
Advanced trading platforms such as MT4 or MT5 also allow access to a wide range of asset classes available for trading.
The development of trading platforms over the past decade has failed to successfully dethrone MT4 or MT5, notably in the retail market.
However, in institutional markets, brokerage companies and banking entities also construct and utilize proprietary currency trading platforms to help satisfy internal needs with trades executed through institutional trading channels.
By far the most important parameter for many retail clients is the optionality and pairs available on trading platforms.
Additionally, demand by traders has led to a greater emphasis on newer features such as advanced charting and other tools.