In this IQ Option cryptocurrency review, we are going to take a look at one of of Europe’s largest CFD brokers. They have been operating since 2013 and have one of the most advanced platforms on the market.
IQ Option was founded in 2013 and is operated by IQ option Ltd. They are fully regulated by the CySec securities commission and currently have over 20 million account holders on their platform.
In this review, we will take a look at the ins and outs of the IQ Option cryptocurrency platform including the trading tools, cryptocurrency assets, funding options, fees, customer support and organisational reputations.
We have also set up a live trading account at the platform in order to get a first-hand experience of the broker from the perspective of a client. We also trawled internet forums to get the most information we could from long time clients.
Let’s dive right into the platform and put the broker through their paces.
What Can You Trade?
IQ Option started out as an option platform that offered traditional assets to trade. These included assets such as stocks, commodities, ETFs and plain vanilla forex. However, they have greatly been increasing their offering of cryptocurrency assets.
In the chart to the right, you can see a list of all the cryptocurrency pairs that are on offer at IQ Option. There are over 12 pairs that you can currently trade and they are always adding more. These include the likes of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Dash, Litecoin, Monero, Zcash etc.
List of cryptocurrency pairs at IQ Option
Although these may be just perfect for the normal cryptocurrency trader, there are numerous other assets that remain on the legacy platform of spot that you can dabble in. They are listed below:
- Forex: For those cryptocurrency traders who came from FX trading backgrounds, you have a great many options for traditional currency trading on IQ option. There are over 188 currency pairs from you to choose from as well as a range of different crosses between the pairs.For those crypto traders who are slightly more advanced, you can use the forex pairs in order to set up a crypto trade in your own local currency. You can open a CFD position on the USD cross as well as that of the cryptocurrency USD cross in question.
- Stocks: There are also hundreds of traditional stocks that you can trade on the IQ Option cryptocurrency platform. You have a selection of over 7,500 stocks to trade that are on a number of different global exchanges. These include the NASDAQ and the FTSE etc.
- ETFs: ETFs, or Exchange Traded Funds, are collective investment funds that allow you as the investor to trade on an index of stocks. IQ option has some of the most extensive lists of ETF instruments to trade with over 4,288 to choose from.
What Instruments Can you Trade
With the cryptocurrencies, they currently offer these products as Contracts for Difference (CFDs). CFDs are derivative instruments that will pay out the trader based on the difference in price at the beginning and the end of the trading day.
CFDs are also levered instruments which means that you can take a much larger position on a trade than you have available. This could amplify your returns provided that you manage your risk in an appropriate manner.
Of course, IQ Option is known for their option instruments. These include their Binary Option and digital option offerings. These instruments are asymmetric instruments which means that they have a defined loss and profit.
With these instruments, you will lay out a premium for the option trade that will usually be a small premium of the asset in question. You will also have an expiry time and an expiry price. If the option expires in the money then you can make a large return on your investment. If it expires out of the money then you will lose the premium.
Funding / Withdrawal Options
IQ Option has a number of payment options that traders can make use of. They accept cards from Visa and Mastercard. They also accept funding through numerous online wallets including Web Money, Skrill, Cash U and Neteller.
For those who would prefer to fund their account through a simple wire option, they also have that option. This will usually take a bit longer than a deposit via card but the fees will be lower for larger amounts.
Payment Options at IQ Option
For those traders who are merely starting out trading, the minimum account funding size is a mere $10. This will give you access to the real account (explained below). Payments that are made via wire can take a bit more 2 days and this depends on where you bank is located.
They also claim that you can withdraw instantly with no questions asked. They state that these can be withdrawn in under 24 hours and that you can process any withdrawal amount that you would like.
We wanted to test this so we opened an account at IQ option and deposited $100. Our deposit was a wire payment and took about 1 day to arrive (our bank is in the EU). We then requested a withdrawal of $10 after placing a few trades.
The team at IQ option told us that we still had to verify our account. After verification went through, our funds were indeed sent and took a little over a day to hit our account (less wiring fees). One thing that the trader has to consider is that they can only withdraw in the same manner through which they funded.
IQ Option Demo Accounts
One of the great advantages that we found out about IQ Option was their free demo accounts. Unlike other cryptocurrency exchanges and brokers, IQ option gives the trader $10,000 of demo funds that they can use to test out the platform.
They can trade on the demo platform as long as they like and there are no time restrictions. If you have depleted the practice funds then you can always have it replenished. This is a great way for new traders to test out their skills before they invest any live money.
You can also do this with practice funds without having to give over any personal information to start. Hence, you can quickly and easily test the platform without worrying about having to hand over any phone numbers or identity documents.
IQ Option Live Accounts
Once you are satisfied with the trading platform and are comfortable with your trading skills, you can move onto a live account and invest your real funds. There are two types of accounts at IQ Option for you to utilise. They are the Real account and the VIP account.
- Real Account: This is the entry level account at IQ Option and only requires a minimum funding amount of $10. With this account, you have access to over 70 asset to trade across a range of asset classes. This will have exactly the same platform functionality as the demo account.
- VIP Account: If you fund more than $3,000 then you will be placed into the VIP category. This has added benefit of a VIP account manager who is on hand to answer any questions that you may have with regards to the platform.The VIP account also allows traders to gather monthly reports on their trading record. This is put together by the analysts at IQ Option. These reports can help the larger traders to properly analyse their returns and make sure that their trading strategy was appropriate.
When we did our tests, we did it on the live trading account and not on the VIP account. Hence, although we have no reason to doubt the benefits, we cannot verify the exact customer support that you are likely to get from an account manager.
The IQ Option Trading Platform
One way in which IQ Option really stands out is their state of the art trading technology. Apparently, there are over 100 developers who are constantly working on the platform in order to improve its efficiency. They have also consulted traders who have collaborated with these developers.
We went over the platform and were quite impressed with how functional it really was. Surprisingly, unlike numerous other platforms, it did not sacrifice the layout or simplicity in order to integrate the range of sophisticated trading tools available.
These tools include numerous charting packages such as technical indicators and studies such as Bollinger bands and moving averages. This could no doubt be a great advantage for all of the technical analysts out there.
There are also numerous layout options that are available on the web interface. This is achieved through the use of widgets which can be positioned to the trader’s preference. This is helpful for those traders who would like to be able to trade on numerous different cryptocurrency pairs simultaneously.
What is also great to note is that IQ Option offers its platform not only as web based platform but also as computer based programs. You can download the proprietary IQ Option Mac or Windows trading software. This will connect to the IQ Option infrastructure.
We tried these out and they were much faster than the web based platform. This makes sense as our trading instructions were going straight to the servers at IQ option and not through a website interface first. Moreover, there was no browser software to slow down our experience.
Mobile Trading on IQ Option
IQ Option Mobile Trading
One thing that we have noticed on a number of cryptocurrency exchanges and platforms is the lack of any mobile trading functionality. This can be disadvantageous for those traders who would like to monitor their positions when they are away from their PCs. Moreover, cryptocurrency markets can move really quickly and time is often of the essence.
IQ option has developed their trading technology on mobile trading devices. They have apps on the iOS apple store as well as on Google play as an android version. They are free to download and you will connect your account to the app when you have it on your device.
Although the functionality has been scaled down in order to not compromise the visual effects of the app, there is still quite a bit of functionality with some charts, indicators and pair choice. It would indeed be easy to manage a number of different trades simultaneously on the device.
The only issues that we encountered were that trades were placed with a slight delay from the app. This could probably have been down to the network connection in the area that we were testing. Hence, if you would like to avoid any delays in execution then you should make sure that you are connected to a Wi-Fi on your phone.
Customer Support Service
Customer service is something that is often in short supply in the cryptocurrency market. This of course makes sense given the immense amount of people who want to invest and the limited number of exchanges where they can do this.
Hence, we wanted to test the customer support response times and effectiveness at IQ Option. We did this initially in the verification phase when we were waiting on our documents. For KYC purposes, IQ option required our proof of identity and address.
We sent our docs off and they took about 2 days to verify. During the period we send out a number of support tickets on the platform as well as corresponded with them on email. Response times were about 2 hours on average.
Total Customer support representatives over years
While these response times are not the best we have encountered, they are definitely below average. We also have to take into account that IQ Option has millions of accounts at the moment and the traders that could not sign up at Coinbase, Bitfinex, Binance etc were moving to other brokers that were willing to take them.
There also seems to be a dedicated phone number for the team at IQ Option. This is not something that one often sees at cryptocurrency exchanges or other CFD / Stock brokers in general. It gives a slight personal feel to the trading experience.
Jurisdictions & Languages Covered
As mentioned, IQ Option is owned and operated by a company in the European Union. They are also a registered financial services provider in Cyprus with the registration number of 247/14. This means that they are legally allowed to take European clients. These clients will also have full protections afforded by CySec.
IQ Option has also spent a great deal of time translating their website and platform. For example, they currently have support for up to 13 different languages.
So that these traders could feel comfortable trading in a balance of their local currency, IQ Option allows funding in GBP, USD, EUR and the following other currency groups: RUB, IDR, MYR, Yuan.
In terms of the local laws, there are some countries that they are not operating in. Traders from the following countries unfortunately cannot make use of their services: The USA, Canada, Israel, Palestine, Australia, Russia, Syria, Iran, Japan, Belgium.
IQ Option Trading Competitions
IQ Option Trading Competitions
Something else that we came across that really intrigued us was the IQ Option trading competitions. These are essentially head to head trading competitions between a number of the users on the platform with prizes on offer.
As traders are naturally competitive to their core, this is a great opportunity for them to test their skills with their fellow traders. These competitions require a small fee to join and usually last for about 30 minutes. Hence, these are more for day crypto traders than those who HODL long term.
Prizes are often cash prizes that can be multiples of your initial buy in amount. When you enter the competition you will be given the demo funds to trade with and the trader who was able to make the most returns in the period will win the loot.
It is important to note, however, that these competitions will require a certain minimum of traders to enter before the competition gets underway. If they are not able to garner the right amount of traders then the daily competition will be called off.
While this will no doubt bring an angle of fun to the cryptocurrency trading, we found it slightly gimmicky. However, for those who want have a shot of making 100x their buy in amount while testing their skills, it could be a great option.
Mining OTN Tokens While Trading
Specifically for the cryptocurrency traders on IQ option is the option to earn OTN tokens when you are trading. These are essentially tokens of the Open Trading Network that are being given to traders through their weekly “emissions”.
The Open Trading Network aims to be the first platform that will offer cross-chain technology that will unite all of the blockchains and allow for a large decentralised crypto exchange. They are making it easier for people to exchange their various tokens. You can read more about it in the OTN whitepaper.
We are currently in the distribution phase of the OTN tokens. This is where the Open Trading Network will partner with a number of brokers such as IQ option to distribute OTN among the community. The expected launch of the OTN wallet will be in March 2018 with support for 7 tokens in total.
They are given to traders based on how often they trade so those traders who have traded more in the week are entitle to more OTN tokens. Hence, not only could you get the benefit of trading cryptocurrency and making returns from that but you could get additional tokens.
The OTN tokens can also be sold on a few centralised exchanges such as Cryptopia and HitBTC.
Customer Complaints of IQ Option
We would not be able to complete a full review of the IQ Option if we did not take a look at the reputation that the company has online. There are a number of people in forums who have made claims about IQ Option and their customer service.
Most appear to be clients who did not want to comply with the KYC procedures when they wanted to withdraw. IQ option allows clients to fund their accounts before they have requested all of the documents for the client. This means that there could indeed be some frustration on the part of the clients.
However, these are similar procedures at a number of the largest Bitcoin exchanges where funds cannot be withdrawn until you have sent them the correct KYC docs. These are even for a number of the exchanges that even do not have Fiat withdrawal functionality.
We also found a number of positive IQ option cryptocurrency reviews so it seems as though there was not really an established trend when it comes to the reputation of IQ.
Is IQ Option the Broker for Me?
Our comprehensive review has found that IQ Option is no doubt a great option for those traders who want to trade derivative instruments on a range of different cryptocurrency pairs. We were really impressed with the trading platform as well as the extension of device applications.
The customer support was also above par and our queries were settled in a reasonable amount of time. The only time that we really needed them was on verification which is exactly when most traders will need them. Having the telephone number there also adds some confidence for the trader. We must not forget that IQ Option has been adding millions of accounts while other exchanges have been turning them away.
Accounts Created at IQ option over the years
Apart from the general trading experience, we found the option to earn OTN tokens a great benefit for those day traders who did volume. These can essentially be considered as free “Air-drops” where you are rewarded for trading.
One of the most important factors for us, and no doubt many other traders, is the fact that they are fully regulated and client deposits are safe. If there are any liquidity issues at IQ option then European regulators will back the client up with the guaranteed deposit policies.
Of course, there are some things that IQ option can do to improve their service. For example, they can include a number of other cryptocurrency Altcoins that are currently in the top 100. They could also consider adding other Fiat / Crypto crosses such as the GBP or EUR for example.
It would also be great to see if IQ Option will eventually allow API access to the platform so that those traders who like to code trading algorithms can link up to it. We hope to see developments on this sometime soon.
Yet, for those traders that are in a jurisdiction that they cover, we can definitely recommend IQ Option as a reputable cryptocurrency broker.
Risk Warning: Trading CFDs and Options could put your capital at risk. Always manage your risk appropriately
All Images Via iqoption.com