cTrader Platform Overview
Will September 2022 go down in the Fintech books of history as the day that forex chose cTrader? Perhaps, perhaps not. What is certain is that ever since Apple mysteriously dropped the MT4 and MT5 apps from the Apple store forex traders are looking for alternatives, with cTrader being the number 1 choice. And for good reason, cTrader has often been considered a type of unsung gem in forex circles. Its code base is developer-maintained meaning that there is no risk of the price manipulation that has sullied the reputation of MetaTrader (more on this below). It offers a similar package to the MT4 and MT5 package, including automation capabilities, synchronization, and order processing capabilities.
Who is cTrader?
With its emphasis on speed and efficiency, cTrader is fast becoming the firm favorite among day trading brokers, ECN brokers, and other forex brokers. Who is the platform behind the name and will cTrader be the next MT4? The younger of the two, cTrader was founded in 2011 by Spotware Systems although the trading app really made waves in the financial industry in 2012 when cTrader received an ISAE Audit by Deloitte. Just in April this year, cTrader won the award for “Best FX Trading Platform” at the Global Forex B2B Awards In London.
The dreamchild of two Russian entrepreneurs, Andrey Pavlov and Ilya Holeu, cTrader prides itself on fairness and transparency. From a technical perspective, the trading platform has many feathers to its bow; direct market access, cloud features, algorithmic trading, and a drawing toolbar to name just a few. It is the company vision, however, which set it apart from its competitors.
With collective decades of professional experience within the forex industry, the two men were able to improve upon the existing software available to brokers based on what they had known and seen from first-hand experience. The glaring gap in the market they found was the transparency offered to traders. cTrader is built with the end-user in mind, in that while brokers can benefit from the suite of impressive technical features that are easy to up-sell, traders can be reassured about the inherent fairness within a developer-run base that is #C programmable.
Yet the beauty of cTrader is that it is designed neither for trader nor broker – but a fusion of their interests. After all, profitable traders are not only an advert for their broker but high-earning clients with more to spend on commission and percentages will benefit a broker. So, smart trading software that is modern, intuitive, and transparent is a win-win for both parties. Or, so the cTrader story goes.
Let’s delve into the nitty-gritty of what this disruptive trading software has to offer. Below you will find an overview of the platform’s key features, followed by an expansion of the relevant areas.
CTrader key features
- Highly compatible - cTrader can be used across devices, with desktop, web, tablet, and mobile versions for both iOS and Android.
- +70 inbuilt technical indicators:
- ECN+STP execution model:
- Manual, copy, and algorithmic trading are available
- Public beta versions for desktop, web, and mobile: a risk-free way to trial the platform
- Customizable interface with 22 languages on offer
- Cloud-based “workspaces” for easy remote access: the cloud infrastructure allows for seamless movement between accounts and devices.
- ASP Panel: full market overview where you can open new charts and create orders.
- Watchlist: up-to-date price information
- Advanced charting abilities: 3 chart modes, 6 chart types, 28 timeframes
- Quick Trade Mode: open, modify or close orders with a single click
- Updates: cTrader gives timely information on commissions, the margin required, and trade value (depending on order volume). The ASP panel displays a full range of executable prices from liquidity providers.
cTrader Platform Interface
While some users have complained it is clunky and dated, most critics would agree that the cTrader interface Is simple, modern, and intuitive. The interface is made up of the following sections:
- Main Menu: here you will find the cTrader settings alongside the orders to trade, copy, automate, analyze, deposit/withdraw.
- cTID Bar: where users can create a demo account or switch between live accounts.
- MarketWatch: a smorgasbord of trading instruments, a live sentiment tab displaying the long and short positions of other traders using the platform, and trading symbols you can click for more information.
- Charts: different chart modes including full screen and split screen.
- TradeWatch: View all orders, transactions, and your history. Users can also set price alerts here.
- Instruments: This toolbar to configure drawing tools, switch between charts, and more.
The Active Symbol Panel
- Active symbol: The Active Symbol Panel (ASP) is a critical component of the cTrader platform. Here users will be able to place orders, assess market sentiment, view trading statistics, and more. It provides the user with information on any selected symbol. It can be expanded or hidden. Under the Active Symbol New Order section users can set Market, Limit, Stop, and Stop Limit orders. The comprehensive symbol info includes a base and quote asset, minimum charge, pip position, Lot Size, Commission, Minimum and Maximum Trade Volume, Swap Long and Short, 3-Days Swaps, Buy and Sell Positions, and FIX symbol ID.
A wide range of statistics can be brought up on any symbol (Net Profit, Profit Factor, Commission, Max Balance Drawdown, Total, Winning and Losing Trades, Largest Winning and Losing Trades, Average Trade, Total and Average Pips, Average Trade Duration, Volume Trader, Sharpe and Sortino Ratio.) The leverage required for trading the symbol will also be displaced in the ASP, alongside an economic calendar with market data in real-time.
- Depth of Market: Integrated with the ASP, the Depth of Market (DoM) allows tracking of a symbol (standard DoM, price DoM, and VWAP DoM). cTrader allows a wide range of orders (market orders, advanced take profit, stop loss orders, limit orders, stop-limit orders, market range, market order on open, time of the day, and more. The execution order speed will depend on various factors, but on average the cTrader speed ranges between 150 and 250 ms.
- Charting: Where cTrader really steals the show is with their charting package. cTrader offers 9 types of charts: Line, Candlestick, Bar, Heikin-Ashi, HLC, Dot, Tick (27 settings available), Renko (19 settings available), Range-based charts (22 settings available). Users can choose between 54-time frames and 6 zoom levels and 33 analytical objects. As aforementioned, there are also over 70 technical indicators (and many more custom indicators) to choose from. The cTrader charts are detachable to facilitate use across multiple screens. Moreover, the Chartshot feature allows traders to easily share strategies or examples by embedding charts directly into a webpage or posting them on social media. The growing number of cloud infrastructures also allows features like the creation of watch lists to be kept online for simplified use and instant access.
cTrader Risk Mitigation
Alongside transparency and speed, cTrader is renowned for its wide-ranging risk mitigation alerts built into the platform. These include pending orders filled; stop loss/take profit orders triggered; deposits/withdrawals; stop-out; and three custom margin call alerts.
Automated trading with cTrader
There is a host of automated trading features available through the cTrader platform. Some of the products are geared toward more advanced algorithmic trading while others will be more user-friendly to beginners. Here is one example: the cTrader Advanced Forex Trading Robot. This product allows a neat intro to algorithmic trading. The robot is a semi-automated trading tool that combines a smart-grid strategy, multi-timeframe indicators and 25 combinations. All the above are curtailed with advanced risk management with the idea of trading cryptocurrencies.
cTrader has been scooping awards up this year, and for good reason. “Best Trading Platform Provider,” “Best Multi-Asset Trading Platform.” (twice) and last year the “Leading Forex Trading Platform of the Year.” Clearly, industry experts and award panels are recognising the value of this company, which has worked hard to offer a trading platform which expertly combines the ethical with the technical through being both transparent and efficient. Other trading software is arguably better designed, but where cTrader has room for improvement in terms of UX and UI, the software is leading the way with its continually optimising cloud infrastructure.
Lead Generation & Business Growth Specialist
Helping Companies Scale their Organic Traffic & Conversions over the long-term by implementing strategies that work. In addition, George is an avid cryptocurrency researcher, advisor, investor, and trader.