The History of Darwinex
Darwinex is a unique online trading platform that provides a social copy trading network, through which investors can by and sell trading strategies. It is not the most popular platform for self-directed training, but is designed to help traders improve and develop their skills.
This review will cover some of the history, top features, and costs of Darwinex, to help you decide if it is the right online forex broker for you.
Darwinex was founded in 2012 in London, and launched their first online platform, Trader Tech, that year.
In 2014, they became a regulated broker under the FCA, and took up the name ‘Darwinex’. The name is derived Darwin Exchange, its social copy trading community. By 2015 they had launched their first investor platform, and in 2017 the first DARWIN reached $3 million in assets under management.
Today, Darwinex manages about $36 million total in assets. They attract advanced, experience traders to share knowledge and exchange trading strategies on their platform. While still based out of London, they also have a development office located in Spain, and work with clients from over 80 countries.
About Social Copy Trading
Darwinex is unique amongst forex brokers because they provide a platform for social copy trading.
In case you haven’t heard of the concept before, social copy trading essentially means the exchange of trading strategies as financial assets, within a community of experienced traders.
Here’s how it works with Darwinex: an individual trader can create a strategy, or Darwin (that is why it is called the ‘Darwin Exchange’) and assign it a unique symbol. The Darwin can then by bought and sold by other traders within the community. Every month, the Darwins that perform the best may receive some allocations from Darwinex itself.
It is also possible for traders to buy and sell full portfolios of Darwins.
Features of Darwinex
Aside from providing a platform for social copy trading, Darwinex is also a top-rated, certified forex broker. Here are some of the top features of Darwinex as a forex broker, and what you should keep in mind if you are considering trading through them.
Darwinex offers trading through three platforms: their own web-based platform for Darwin exchange, as well as MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5) – two of the more popular platforms amongst experienced forex traders.
The web-based Darwin Exchange is fairly intuitive and easy to use. For someone considering social copy trading, this is one of the most highly-rated and popular communities out there. You can easily invest, analyze trends, and follow the performance of Darwins on the market.
MT4 and MT5 are accessible through Darwinex, but they are not known as the best broker for forex trading through those platforms. They do not have some of the forex-specific tools and features that other brokers have, such as streaming forex prices or charting applications.
Darwinex is a certified and trustworthy forex broker, regulated in Europe by the FCA.
Because scams and fraud can be common in the forex industry, it is important to choose a well-trusted broker before you invest. While Darwinex is not as popular as some other brokers, it is trusted by those who use it and regulated to prevent fraud.
They are a newer company, so they have not yet claimed any awards as a forex broker. They are also not a publicly traded company. Those are both features that generally indicate reliability in a forex broker, so that might be considered a downside for users. However, they are still a young company, so the lack of awards does not necessarily mean poor performance or reliability.
All-in-all, we would still recommend Darwinex as a trustworthy, reliable broker.
One of the consequences of Darwinex being a small, younger company is that they do not have as adequate of customer service as other, larger brokers.
Customer service is important in forex trading – if something goes wrong or you feel you have unfairly lost money, you want to be able to get in touch with the broker about it right away. Unfortunately, Darwinex does not have a 24/7 customer service line. They have an online emergency form to help with live issues, but it has been reported to be less helpful and responsive than other systems.
Darwinex does have its own mobile app, downloadable on both Android and Apple smart devices, so that users can trade and research on the go. The app allows you to access both the online Darwin Exchange platform and MT4. MT5 is only accessible on a desktop.
Most of the Darwin Exchange and MT4 features that can be accessed on a desktop are accessible through the mobile app. The app is laid out well, has a modern design and is pretty easy to use.
There are more features for social copy trading than for forex trading through the app. For example, you cannot track forex prices and trends through the app, like you might be able to through other mobile trading apps.
Unfortunately, when it comes to mobile forex trading and research, Darwinex might not be the best choice.
Darwinex does not provide any tools for normal forex research, either through their mobile app or on a desktop. That is a big part of why they are more popular as a social copy trading platform than as a forex trading broker.
That said, they do offer plenty of tools for social copy trading research, including custom filters for analyzing Darwins, and features of the platform itself that allow traders to track a Darwin’s performance history and view performance rankings.
The commissions and fees of Darwinex will vary depending on what you are using it for.
For social copy trading, investors pay a quarterly performance fee of 20% per Darwin strategy to the strategy’s developers. That sounds complicated, but essentially means that you pay for the strategies you trade depending on how well they are performing.
For self-directed forex trading, users are subject to commissions and fees on spreads, as with most forex brokers. Spreads are not set, and can vary depending on the currency pair. As a general estimate, we can say that the average spread for EUR/USD comes to about 0.2 to 0.3 pips.
Spreads are generally not as high as some other, more established brokers. However, Darwinex does have a relatively steep minimum initial deposit of $500.
They do offer a free demo account, with no initial deposit, which will allow a user to test out the platforms with no risk for a limited time.
Withdrawal and Payment Options:
You can make a deposit or withdraw your money from Darwinex through a bank transfer, debit or credit card, Trustly or Skrill. There are no withdrawal penalties, but some fees do apply.
Making a withdrawal with a debit or credit card or through Skrill will cost a 1% commission, with a minimum commission of $2. The commission of a bank transfer will depend on your bank’s policies.
Pros of ActivTrades:
- Unique social copy trading platform
- Easy to use and understand (with basic forex trading knowledge)
- Low spreads
- Intuitive mobile trading app
- Access to the unique trading community – the ability to develop new skills
- Free demo account available
- Higher fees incur only with successful Darwins – you will not be charged more unless you are making more
- Limited risk
Cons of ActivTrades
- Not as well-established as other forex brokers
- Not great for self-directed forex trading
- Limited research tools
- Poor customer service compared to other online brokers
Our final word on Darwinex is that it is great as a unique platform for social copy trading, but not the best for self-directed forex trading.
Their approach to online trading through the exchange of Darwins is different from most other brokers, and a lot of users like that – especially people with a lot of forex trading knowledge and experience. However, for someone who is interested in simple forex trading as an individual, Darwinex does not have enough research tools and resources. Their poor customer service can also present a challenge.
However, they do have low spreads and a convenient mobile trading app, as well as access to MT4 and MT5 – for experienced traders, that can make it a good option.
Who should use Darwinex:
We would not recommend Darwinex to someone who is just getting started with forex trading. They do offer a free demo trial to help you learn the ropes with limited risk, but the lack of research tools makes it challenging for someone who does not have a lot of trading experience.
We do recommend Darwinex for sophisticated, experienced traders who are looking for something new, or an opportunity to challenge themselves. Their unique online community provides an opportunity for traders to learn from others and improve their skills. Relatively low spreads, mobile apps, and an intuitive Darwin exchange platform make it a great choice for someone with plenty of forex knowledge.
David is a financial expert who graduated from the University of Fordham (Master in Finance) in 2001. He has 10+ years of experience in private equity and wealth management. With strong expertise in senior-level financial planning, personal financial analysis, and mortgages, David knows his way around personal finance. Before working at CCR he used to be a financial analyst at McKinsey.
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