Blog, Updates & News
At 1Broker, our top priority is to offer a stable and secure environment for all customers. With the recent announcement of the attempted hard fork by the Bitcoin ABC community, also known as Bitcoin Cash, many users asked if we would support this new currency.
1Broker will neither support the split and distribution of Bitcoin Cash, nor return Bitcoin Cash which is sent to one of our Bitcoin deposit addresses by accident. If you want to access your Bitcoin Cash tokens, please withdraw your funds before August 1st to a wallet that supports Bitcoin Cash. As a security precaution, we will disable Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals on July 31st, 2017 at 23:00 UTC until August 2nd, 2017.
Reasons for this decision
In general, we welcome any changes and improvements to the Bitcoin protocol, including changes that require a hard fork. However, in the case of Bitcoin Cash there are several reasons why we cannot support it:
- The hard fork was announced only a few days before the actual fork date. It is impossible to set up, test and build the necessary software around this client in such a short time frame.
- Although we respect the community behind Bitcoin Cash, we do not think that a significant majority of Bitcoin users and businesses support an overly hasty hard fork.
- Due to the limited time to prepare, supporting Bitcoin cash would lead to error-prone internal systems, which wouldn’t meet our high standards of security and stability. We believe that the potential issues outweigh the benefits.
Changes to our Terms of Service
In order to handle hard forks in a predictable way in the future, we changed the “Blockchain Hard Forks” section of our Terms of Service to the following:
“A blockchain hard fork is defined as a permanent divergence in the blockchain that occurs when nodes follow different consensus rules. This means that a crypto currency will be effectively split into two separate independent currencies. Due to the administrative complexity of distributing and splitting a hard forked currency in our system, support of any forked currency is solely at the discretion of 1Broker. If we make no public announcement regarding an attempted fork, we will not support and distribute the new currency. In the event that a hard fork has a significant consensus among the community and businesses, it is also possible that we only support the hard forked currency and do not support the legacy currency anymore.
If our customers wish to split their tokens after such a hard fork, it is necessary that they withdraw their funds prior to the fork date. We are neither liable for any damages resulting from a hard fork, nor will we return any funds accidentally deposited from a currency that our system does not support.”
New Copy Trader reward model
Based on the feedback we received during the past months, we improved one of the most important aspects of our copy trader system: The reward and fee model. In the past a trader received a part of the spread when his/her trades were copied - similar to our referral system. Unfortunately, this created an incentive to open multiple low-quality short-term trades. Our new system only rewards traders if a shared trade is closed in profit. Take a look at our updated Copy Trader page for more information.
Negative balance protection
Earlier this year Germany’s financial regulator “BaFin” started to force CFD brokers to protect their clients from negative account balances. Negative account balances can happen when highly leveraged trades are held in very volatile markets. We welcome this decision, because it protects clients from unexpected debt and, although we are not regulated by the “BaFin”, we implemented such a protection on 1Broker as well. From now on, all negative account balances are reset to 0 on the first day of each month.
- Traders who are inactive for more than 3 months, lose all copiers.
- Traders with a hidden profile are no longer listed on the popular/successful traders page.
- Added API methods and documentation to start/edit/stop copying someone.
- Increased space between buttons in mobile sidebar.
- Switched to candlestick charts as the default option instead of line charts.
- Fixed timezone issues in profile statistics (Wrong months in performance chart).
- Fixed whitespace issues around charts.
- Dozens of back-end related updates to improve the uptime and stability of the platform.
Update: As of July 27th, BIP 91 was succesfully activated. There will be no fork between UASF and legacy nodes. However, there is a new development from the Bitcoin ABC community, who will attempt a UAHF (User Activated Hard Fork) on August 1st. You can find more information about this topic in a newer blog post.
In this blog entry we will describe our plans for a potential blockchain fork on August 1st, 2017. We will keep this text up to date over the next days. For general information about how we handle forks, have a look at our previous blog article "Bitcoin forking?".
What will happen on August 1st?
Both, BIP 148 (commonly referred as "UASF") and BIP 91 (part of the "SegWit2x" plan), are scheduled to be activated on this date and aim to improve the Bitcoin protocol. Unfortunately, these "BIPs" are developed and pushed by two competing communities. While both proposals are compatible with each other, there is the possibility that BIP 91 gets activated too late and the blockchain splits apart regardless. If you are interested in technical details of this potential fork and the possible outcomes, have a look at "A Bitcoin Beginner’s Guide to Surviving the BIP 148 UASF".
We are optimistic that BIP 91 gets activated soon enough and nothing bad will happen on this date. Nevertheless, we will disable deposits and withdrawals from Sunday, July 30th 5:00 PM (New York time) until Wednesday, August 2nd. If a fork happens, as defined per our terms of service, it might take longer until we reactivate deposit and withdrawals. Keep in mind that there will be some price volatility during these days; if you want to have full control over your funds, please withdraw them from 1Broker.
What are the chances of a fork on August 1st?
As of July 27th, BIP 91 was activated. There will be no fork between UASF and legacy nodes. However, there is a new development from the Bitcoin ABC community, who will attempt a UAHF (User Activated Hard Fork). You can find more information about this topic in a newer blog post.
Will clients lose funds when a fork happens?
In terms of the Bitcoin you own, no funds will be lost. If both currencies survive you can even withdraw and spend your funds twice.
It is not possible to predict if the combined spot price of the new currencies is higher or lower than the Bitcoin price before the fork. This means that, expressed in USD for example, nobody can predict if your Bitcoin holdings would rise or fall in value. This will be decided by the free market.
If the Bitcoin Blockchain does not fork on August 1st, will it fork in the future?
Yes, we expect that there will be a controversial fork sooner or later. Bitcoin ABC, which will be released in the coming weeks, is yet another competing implementation of Bitcoin's consensus rules. Additionally, there is a planned hard fork to to a block size of 2 Megabytes by the "SegWit2x" supporters. It is very hard to predict the economic support of such a blockchain fork and its side effects beforehand, but we will keep you informed via this blog and our social media channels.
As always, 1Broker takes no sides in the ongoing blocksize debate.
Yesterday, on July 6th at around 11 p.m. (UTC), the Silver market briefly fell by 10% to 14.399 USD before quickly recovering to around 15.9 USD. This phenomenon is commonly called a "flash crash" and mainly caused by a fat finger error or technical issues. It is still unclear what caused this crash, but it affected all exchanges and derivative providers around the globe.
Especially for businesses like 1Broker, who offer high-leveraged contracts, such extreme volatility leads to many unpleasant side-effects. In general, Stop Loss values are not guaranteed exit prices and many positions are force-closed with a negative value. In some cases, losses even exceeded the total account value which lead to negative account balances. Contrary to popular belief, high price volatility is not in our interest and does not increase our profits.
Apart from an outage due to high server load after this event, our trading engine worked correctly. However, we fully understand the frustration when losses are dramatically higher than the amount initially invested. Therefore, we decided to create an "emergency fund" to refund all losses exceeding the initial investments. We expect that in total ~65 BTC will be payed out in the coming hours. 1Broker will cover this amount in full from our reserves and no increase of fees is necessary.
To protect our traders in the future, we lowered the maximum leverage for our Silver and Gold market from 100 to 50.
If you have any questions, you can contact us at any time.
As announced, the name vote for our new BTC/USD trading platform, 1gox.com, is binding for us. Our community decided with a big majority that this controversial name should be changed. Thanks to everyone who participated! Here are the final results:
1134 votes in total
We spent a lot of time thinking about a suitable replacement and we are happy to announce that this project will launch under the name 1Fox.com. "Fox" can be interpreted as the abbreviation of Fast Online eXchange; however the main reason for choosing this name was because it is easy to remember and it sounds quite good.
Earlier this week, we also moved our company website from the domain 1pool.io to 1pool.ltd.
Let us know what you think about these changes on our social media channels!
Today, we made the following changes to our market hours:
- Forex pairs (except USD/RUB) now trade 24/5. The daily 15-minute break between 5:00 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. (EST) was removed.
- USD/RUB trading now starts at 10:00 a.m. and ends at 7:00 p.m. (Moscow). Until now trading started at 9:00 a.m. and ended at 5:00 p.m. (Moscow).
You can find all market hours and a conversion to your local timezone on our market hours page.
Our name choice for the new trading platform, 1gox.com, caused a lot of emotional responses and uproar in our community. Although we anticipated that the term "gox" would be controversial, we did not expect such intense reactions.
For those that do not know the history associated with the name: In February 2014 the most popular Bitcoin exchange at the time, MtGox, declared bankruptcy which is probably one of the most infamous incidents in Bitcoin-history. Many Bitcoin investors suffered losses that day - including a member of 1Broker’s dev-team.
We understand your concerns and want to sincerely apologize to all who thought this was a joke in bad taste; especially to those who suffered a loss back then.
While it may have started out as snarky working title meant to remind us of what to avoid at all costs, it simply became a short and catchy name on its own after working on this new venture for several weeks. Admittedly, it lead to controversy within our team as well but it caught on and a majority is now in favor of keeping it.
Nevertheless, we value your opinion and will not use a name for our new platform that a majority of our community dislikes. Therefore all 1Broker members who registered before May 29th, 2017 can vote on this. Voting will end on Friday June 9th, 2017 at 5:00 p.m (New York time).
This vote will be decided by a simple majority and is binding.
We would love to free the 3-letter combination “gox” from its negative connotation by building a great and reliable product on top of it. If you do not like 1gox as a name, please keep in mind that it is just a name and does not reflect any ill-willed intentions. It is simply supposed to be a short and memorable name.
We encourage you to voice your opinion and we look forward to the results.
By popular request, we lowered our minimum amount to open/copy a trade from 0.01 BTC to 0.001 BTC. Especially for API developers lower minimums are useful to test our service before risking bigger sums.
During the past few weeks, we have been (rightfully) criticized for the current market conditions in our BTC/USD market. Due to the high volatility and the extreme growth of our user-base, it reached a point where we have to react accordingly. The increased spread, high overnight-financing charges and constant full allocation of the available funds is against our philosophy of offering a transparent and low-fee trading platform. Apart from the unprofitable nature of this market, many traders are frustrated, which we can accept no longer: Starting on Thursday 25th, 2017 (2:00 p.m. New York time) no new orders can be created on our BTC/USD market. Open orders and positions can be closed until Friday June 9th, 2017 (5:00 p.m. New York time). On this date all remaining BTC/USD positions and orders will be force-closed.
With a volume of over 100,000 BTC per month, this market is one of the most popular. Unfortunately, our underlying system and hedging strategies were not created with scalability in mind; when adding this contract some years ago, we never anticipated this volume or popularity to increase so quickly.
However, this is just the beginning of a new era: We are already working on a completely new and dedicated trading platform for this market: 1gox.com A unique trading engine and business model will make this project a sibling of 1Broker.com. 1gox will launch in Q3 2017, so make sure to follow its dedicated social media channels to stay up to date.
We hope you join us on this exciting journey.
With today's update we changed the calculation for our BTC/USD price index. Instead of Bitstamp, we now use Gemini Trust Company, LLC. (https://gemini.com/) as our second exchange. The new price is now calculated by the non-volume weighted average of:
- Coinbase UK Ltd. (GDAX, BTC/USD)
- Gemini Trust Company, LLC. (BTC/USD)
There are multiple reasons for this change: Apart from several technical incidents, Bitstamp's price had a big offset to other exchanges for unknown reasons in the past week. We received many complaints about the resulting price movements since they had a negative impact on the trading experience. With Gemini, we hope to have found a stable and trusted replacement.
Another change that we introduced some days ago is a "floating" spread which is automatically recalculated hourly and is based on the market conditions. We wrote about this topic and the underlying problems in a previous blog post. Unfortunately, this situation has not improved since then due to the extreme (exponential) growth of our user-base and our new Copy Trader system. Managing the risk for our BTC/USD market has never been harder for us. We want to apologize in advance for the occasional high spreads, but in order to keep this contract profitable for us, this system is required.
Less trading breaks
We are happy to announce that the (annoying) daily trading break between 5:00 and 5:15 p.m. (New York time) for our BTC/USD market is gone with one exception: A weekly trading break on Friday at the same time will remain. This time-frame is necessary to deploy software updates and make other important changes on our servers.
Keep in mind that our BTC/USD market is still in experimental mode. We reserve the right to make changes like this at any time in the future!