DISCLAIMER: FXCM EU LTD: CySEC license number 392/20 (http://www.fxcm.com/eu).
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.
Between 63-74% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs.
You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.
All references on this site to "FXCM" refer to the FXCM Group.
This review is not intended for retail clients residing in the UK.
FXCM Crypto CFD Review
What is FXCM?
FXCM is a global provider of online foreign exchange (FX) trading, CFD trading and related services. It was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in the financial centre of Europe, London (United Kingdom).
The platform is a so called derivatives platform, meaning that they focus on derivatives trading, or more specifically "CFDs". A derivative is an instrument priced based on the value of another asset (normally stocks, bonds, commodities etc). In the cryptocurrency world, derivatives accordingly derive its values from the prices of specific cryptocurrencies.
Supported Crypto CFD Contracts
FXCM offers CFDs in cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Stellar and EOS. They also offer an instrument called CryptoMajor, being a basket consisting of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash (25% each), thus a more diversified contract than a contract focused on a specific cryptocurrency.
As far as we know, FXCM does not allow US-investors to trade on the platform. So, if you’re from the US and would like to engage in crypto CFD trading, you will have to look elsewhere. Luckily for you, if you go to the Exchange List and use our exchange filters, you can sort the exchanges based on whether or not they accept US-investors.
Most crypto traders feel that desktop give the best conditions for their trading. The computer has a bigger screen, and on bigger screens, more of the crucial information that most traders base their trading decisions on can be viewed at the same time. The trading chart will also be easier to display. However, not all crypto CFD investors require desktops for their trading. Some prefer to do their crypto CFD trading via their mobile phone. If you are one of those traders, you’ll be happy to learn that FXCM’s trading platform is also mobile compatible as apps for both iPhones and Android users.
FXCM Trading View
Different exchanges have different trading views. And there is no “this overview is the best”-view. You should yourself determine which trading view that suits you the best. What the views normally have in common is that they all show the order book or at least part of the order book, a price chart of the chosen CFD-contract and order history. They normally also have buy and sell-boxes. Before you choose an exchange, try to have a look at the trading view so that you can see that it feels right to you.
The following is an example of the trading view at FXCM:
It is up to you – and only you – to decide if the above trading view is suitable to you. Finally, there are usually many different ways in which you can change the settings to tailor the trading view after your very own preferences.
FXCM also offers leveraged trading, up to 200x leverage on their cryptocurrency CFDs for non-EU clients. and up to 2x leverage for those residing in Australia and the EU.
Leveraged derivatives trading can lead to massive returns but – on the contrary – also to massive losses. For instance, let’s say that you have 10,000 USD on your trading account and bet 100 USD on BTC going long (i.e., increasing in value). You do so with 100x leverage. If BTC then increases in value with 10%, if you had only bet 100 USD, you would have earned 10 USD. As you bet 100 USD with 100x leverage, you have instead earned an additional 1,000 USD (990 USD more than if you had not leveraged your deal). On the other hand, if BTC decreases in value with 10%, you have lost 1,000 USD (990 USD more than if you had not leveraged your deal). So, as you might imagine, there is potential for huge upside but also for huge downside…
The awards were granted to the FXCM Group by Shares Awards, Compare Forex Brokers, Global Forex Awards and Personal Wealth in 2020.
Crypto CFD Fees charged by FXCM
When you trade at a FX/CFD Broker like FXCM, you have to pay trading fees. However, the trading fees differ in their structure compared to the trading fees at a centralized crypto exchange for instance. At an FX/CFD Broker, you need to consider the following fees in your trading: spreads, overnight fees and (possibly) inactivity fees.
Crypto CFD Spread at FXCM
Let’s start with explaining what a “spread” is. Spreads are the main fee of any CFD Trading Platform. In essence, it can be compared to trading fees at centralized crypto exchanges. It is the mark-up or mark-down charged by the platform when you purchase a certain crypto CFD. So if the price of the relevant CFD is USD 100, and the spread is 1%, the buyer can buy the crypto CFD on the trading platform for USD 101 (or sell it for USD 99). The difference between the sell price and the purchase price (USD 1 in this case), goes to the trading platform.
FXCM have fixed unit amounts as their spreads and not a fixed percentage amount. When calculating the percentage of the fixed amount against the market price on the date of first writing this review (13 June 2021), we found that the spread was around 0.11%. We have therefore listed 0.11% as the trading fees in our database. Here's a picture showing the spreads of a few different markets at FXCM (picture from 13 June 2021):
Crypto CFD Overnight Fee charged by FXCM
What is an overnight fee? An overnight is the fee charged by the platform when you hold a position (i.e. a Crypto CFD) overnight. It's as easy as that. Seeing as it is charged every night, it is small, and a trader will of course hope that his position will be successful enough that he won't even notice the overnight fee as the value of his position appreciates.
To our understanding, looking at the BTC/USD contract, FXCM only charges overnight fees on long positions, meaning positions trading that the price of the relevant instrument will go up. The overnight fee for BTC/USD long contract is 0.0685% (25% per year) and is 3x on Fridays. For short positions however, meaning positions trading that the price of the relevant instrument will go down, there are no overnight fees at all. A quite uncommon fee structure for sure.
Inactivity Fee charged by FXCM
An inactivity fee is a fee that is charged if you have not logger in to your trading account for a certain period of time. At FXCM, this period of time is 12 months after which the account will be closed if there is no client-initiated activity. If the account has balance more than 0, an inactivity fee will be charged of USD 50 per year. These time frames and fees are vastly more generous than the corresponding time frames and fees at both Plus500 and IG Markets where fees are levied each month after a certain grace period, corresponding to USD 120 per year for Plus500 (but with a grace period of 3 months) and USD 180 per year for IG Markets (but with a grace period of 24 months).
While the inactivity fee is clearly not one of the more important ones, we feel that is worth mentioning seeing as it is a bit consumer-unfriendly in our opinion. Most of the FX/Crypto Brokers seem to have it though. If it is of any comfort to you as a user, the inactivity fee is only collected when there are sufficient available funds in the user's account.
CFD Withdrawal fees
Seeing as you never really hold any cryptocurrency at this platform, but only CFD contracts connected to such cryptocurrencies, there is no real point in stating a BTC-withdrawal fee here and then comparing that to the corresponding BTC-withdrawal fees at other platforms. The only thing you withdraw here is money.
According to information we have received, this particular platform does not charge any withdrawal fees (however, withdrawal fees might be applicable for wire transfers).
At FXCM, you can deposit fiat currency in a lot of different ways, including (but not limited to) VISA, MasterCard, Klarna, PayPal, Skrill and many others. EU clients can also deposit via debit/credit card and wire transfer. This is naturally very helpful for someone that needs an easy way to access his/her trading platform.