If you were looking for an extensive and accurate review of the InstaForex exchange platform, you do not need to look any further. We have compiled a report on one of the more popular choices in the market when it comes to asset trade. With cryptocurrencies recently added as well, we decided it is time to dig deep into the platform and uncover advantages and disadvantages of the company.
Take a seat as we talk you for a ride through company’s verification process, deposit methods, fees, platforms, interface and trade features/functions. Lastly, we provide pros and cons to compare the trade exchange with other competitors, such as eToro, Avatrade, and Markets.com.
InstaForex is an online broker that offers several marketplaces for different types of assets to be traded on daily basis. The company established its operations in 2007 by InstaTrade Corporation, while the software used for trade was created by MetaQuotes. It has registered its services at Forex ECN. In 2010, it was the first to implement Meta Trader 5 as a program for margin trading.
Currently, according to the organization’s claims, there are over 7 million users trading a wide range of assets on the daily basis. Its operations are based in Russia, providing its services globally. Anyone with a credit card or bank account can trade in the platform. The company is also known as the sponsor of several famous sports figures, such as Victoria Azarenka, Janko Tipsarevic, Marussia F1 team and many others.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: All that we wrote about the exchange are their own claims. The title and operation’s headquarters are pretty much the only thing that has been “confirmed” as they do not hold much of a value for traders. The issue starts with ECN, as there are no links to prove the claim and neither are owners represented in any section of the website.
Since there have been many scam pleas right now in the community, please refer to the sections “Promotions” and “Communities” for more detailed information about these claims.
So, what does InstaForex offer in terms of financial markets when it comes to trade? Currently, you can trade with Forex fiat currencies, precious metals (Gold and Silver) and with cryptocurrencies (bitcoin, Ripple, Litecoin, DAX and many more). Since its start, the broker took upon itself to include as many trading assets and exchange pairs as possible, resulting in many fiat and cryptocurrencies being available.
eToro, for example, has developed its currencies, indices, and commodities (CFDs) markets while AvaTrade offers bonds, stock trading, indices, ETF and commodities. Markets.com, on the other hand, offer shares, Forex, cryptos, indices, ETFs, and commodities in its platform. All three of these exchanges do not have as many trading pairs as InstaForex does.
Registration and Verification
Registration at InstaForex, although once you get a hang of it, is somewhat confusing. The process is not complex but not as straightforward as with other platforms out there. You have to manually search for the web browsing platform and for Meta Trader in order to create an account at InstaForex, as seen in the picture below.
Then, you provide your personal details and email, while system gives you passwords that you should use for online and phone trading platforms. We suggest you change those immediately as soon as you register an account.
As for the verification process, you do not verify even your email, meaning that InstaForex provides a completely private way to trade bitcoins in its platform. You simply deposit money into the account and start trading, without any sort of limitations imposed on your account.
Deposit Methods and Fees
Options available for you when it comes to depositing and withdrawing funds to and from InstaForex balances are of a large number. InstaForex offers over 40 methods for you to use, them being bank transfers (international and local), credit or debit cards, Skrill, Neteller, Alipay, giropay, SOFORT, bitcoin transfers and many more.
The fees are nonexistent from the InstaForex’s side but you should take into account the provider’s service costs as well. The withdrawal costs, on the other hand, can range according to the method and country, from 0.1% to 3% of the transfer value.
Compared to eToro, AvaTrade, and Markets.com, InstaForex clearly has an advantage, as these platforms offer 3 to 5 deposit/withdrawal options.
This is exactly the reason for suspicion as well. Not many companies can claim so many deposit methods available for traders. The sheer amount of options for so many countries in the world, without links and claims about relationships with different banks and currency management, is something that should be taken into account.
InstaForex has several trade instruments that you should check out when trading at the platform.
Forex Options – these are contracts that you can make with InstaForex regarding all of the available trading assets. You make an agreement that you will buy or sell a specific asset for a specific price at a specific time. Neat for those assets that are sure to grow in the future and that you wish to buy cheap.
ForexCopy System – used to duplicate orders of other traders that are more successful than you. It is very similar to PAMM system, except that you do not deal with the said traders but system copies their orders for you.
PAMM-system – this is very interesting service, as you get to invest in other people’s accounts and their knowledge. You basically provide funds for those that know how to trade better than you and reap part of the profit margin in the process.
All you have to do to be part of this particular platform is to have some funds deposited in your account. You search amongst the applicants for those with the best history. Direct communication is enabled, so you can check out the service providers and see if they have what they claim.
InstaWallet System – this optional service allows you to send and receive money instantly from and to accounts registered in InstaForex. The company developed inner transfer system, where you can fund other accounts without fees and instantly.
The available platforms that you can use to trade at InstaForex are web market, a desktop application called Meta Trader 5 and mobile platforms. The web platform holds its own public keys (username and passwords) and is accessible without any sort of download.
Meta Trader 5 holds more functions with the more advanced interface. It is free for download from the company’s website on your computer. Windows is the accepted operating system.
The InstaForex supports both iOS and Android devices. The apps are available for free download at Apple Store and Google Play and have very similar features and functions as a web platform.
Interface differs greatly between desktop program and web browsing platform. The web platform is very simple, with price charts having basic analysis tools for you to use, as shown in the picture below.
You can change bar color, add in several indicators and choose the analysis period of order books made previously.
Meta Trader gives completely different experience. The interface can be designed according to your needs, with multiple charts being available at the same time. You can also put in over 100 indicators for analysis of the market trends, providing you with a clearer picture of the coin’s value movement, as you can see in the snapshot below.
There are very little differences between InstaForex and other brokers when comparing desktop applications. The story is a little bit different when web platform is in question, as InstaForex has too simple interface design compared to others.
The platform offers regular trade tools as any other Forex exchange. You can buy and sell coins using either instant execution or pending order functions, as shown below.
The instant option carries out the trade according to the market value of the bitcoin at that specific moment. The pending order, on the other hand, takes your specified value into account. The pending tool allows you to play for a long time and earn you larger profit or loss.
This is where functions “Stop-Loss” and “Take Profit” come into play. The “Stop-Loss” allows you to specify the value at which the loss is acceptable for you and ends the order is the value is reached. Same goes for profit, except the order will be carried out automatically until it reaches the profit margin you have specified originally.
The system is very simple, without any additional functions available at this point. There are no real analysis tools in web browsing platform, while Meta Trader 5 offers indicators that would allow you to better prepare your order. Features are thus, very similar to other rival platforms, such as eToro, AvaTrade, and Markets.com.
This is the part of the guide we had the most trouble with. The promotional programs at InstaForex are related to the bonus money you receive for registering an account at the platform and make a very first profit. The amount of bonus you can take is directly connected with the money you deposit in your InstaForex balance.
The available bonuses are expressed in 30% and 55% of the deposited amount. It means, according to the platform, if you deposit $1.000 and make a profit of $100, you get additional $300 on top. Same goes for 55%, except for $300, you would get $550.
The best thing? You do not need to deposit anything, as you only specify the deposit amount you wish to work for, not that you will actually deposit. You make a profit which you keep and reuse the 30% or 55% of bonus to continue trading at the platform. Without any deposits further needed, you can trade and not fund your account at all.
Sounds too good to be true? You bet since there is a catch. Once you make that 10% profit, your account is temporarily blocked and you “might” be asked to deposit real money instead as a measure of precaution. You have to open 300/550 lots in the meantime as you get the account unblocked to be able to withdraw anything.
The said process, according to the company, is meant to draw people in and make them start trading at the platform. The company would deliver the bonus later on, as they make a profit. In our opinion, the real money deposit kills the idea entirely and there are many other ways to attract people in. It also creates an alarm signal as the company is conducting very shady marketing tools, pointing towards scam.
There is no educational tools nor sections for traders to use apart from news, blogs, and FAQ. You get demo account which you can use to try things out and learn about the trade while numerous posts within the platform can be used to gather information about the assets you wish to trade.
Other than that, there are no organized and free educational courses by the InstaForex.
The company offers a trader’s portal where users may share their experiences with the trade between each other. There are also blogs made by the company, where comments can start discussions and forums where various topics can be started.
The external community’s reviews are largely negative of the platform. Many mention the bonus system and funds disappearing from their balances at some point o time. There are few that provide positive remarks though some are accused by the community of being employees of the InstaForex, forced to make good reviews.
The need to deposit real money to unblock the bonus and profit made at the beginning seems to be quite common and widespread.
The TV communication is something that very rare and large players have currently, no matter where the operations are based. The online news feed with videos is something we find very funky indeed. None of the rival exchanges, eToro, AvaTrade or Markets.com have this sort of service available for the customer base.
The TV station is consisted of regularly-published video on YouTube and on the website as well, where news about financial markets and cryptocurrencies can be heard. There is also TV calendar, interviews, events coverage and many other programs that you should check out.
The company claims it is ECN licensed broker, who adheres to the financial rules of the game set by the ECN community. The operations were based in Russia, company is regulated by the Russian Federation Federal Financial Markets Service, a section of Brokerage, Dealing and Capital Management Services.
The ECN license is yet to be proven while website provides the numbers of licenses obtained from the Russian government.
We have huge issues with the security of the platform. The keys generated are made from the InstaForex side and even your own keys are copied by the company and stored on their servers. It means that anyone from the InstaForex can access your profile and use balances you have there. This is a legitimate concern, as community pinpointed on potential thefts from the side of the InstaForex’s employees.
Add to that nonexistence of the personal protection tools, such as 2FA or even email verifications, and you will see why we deem security at InstaForex as abysmal.
InstaForex offers Client Cabinet API, which allows you to code out functions and features of the InstaForex account. The usage of the API tools are various as you can modify queries about open and closed trades, account balance, lots closed during a certain period of time, bonus statistics, login history, and account summary.
It allows traders to completely set up their own trading activities without logging into their accounts. API, according to the rules you have set, would do the job instead of you. It is free to use, and you get password protection on your codes as well.
Other exchanges do not offer API as a service, meaning that InstaForex has the tool as a competitive advantage when compared to others in the market.
Pros and Cons
- No verification needed for trade to start
- Large number of available financial assets for investments, cryptocurrencies included
- TV channel covering latest news and events
- Large amount of deposit/withdrawal methods with low fees
- Different unique products such as PAMM and ForexCopy systems
- Bonus system looks a lot like a scam according to the community
- Web platform lacks interface tools
- No real proof of ECN license
- No security functions or features whatsoever
- Registration slightly confusing
Since the bonus incident keeps being a problem, we would highly recommend you not to use InstaForex’s services. Their TV is cool and the demo useful for you to learn things about the trade. Which are the only things we would recommend you to do, as many people have reported losses of their hard-earned profit margins due to the bonus fraud.
There are many other, legitimate options out there for you while InstaForex stands as a reminder that if something looks too good to be true – it usually is exactly that.