Blog, Updates & News
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!
You may have noticed that we introduced a risk indicator for traders a few days ago. In the past, our "successful traders" list ranked users by their profit/loss in ascending order. This incentivized some users to make high-risk trades, which lead to dramatic losses for their copiers. Our new risk calculation is now included in the ranking algorithm for the successful traders list and we hope that this improves the situation.
As always, our primary goal was simplicity and transparency:
The risk level for one trade is the profit/loss percentage divided by the amount of days this particular trade was open. The risk indicator calculation uses the average risk level of all shared and closed trades for the specified duration (usually "this month"). This has the pleasant side effect that trades that were open for a very long time are treated equally to trades that were open for shorter durations. Therefore, our risk indicator estimates how fast your copied positions would have risen or fallen in value. In general, keep in mind that past performance in not a reliable indicator of future performance. We chose the following risk categorization:
|The profit/loss of closed positions changed by less than 2% per day on average.
|The profit/loss of closed positions changed by less than 4% per day on average.
|The profit/loss of closed positions changed by less than 8% per day on average.
|The profit/loss of closed positions changed by less than 16% per day on average.
|The profit/loss of closed positions changed by more than 16% per day on average.
Our update also introduced a lot of other improvements and bug fixes:
- Darkened unchecked checkboxes to improve visibility.
- Fixed a crash when the detail view of a position is displayed while the position gets closed by the trading engine.
- Removed fade-in effect from alert dialog to improve UI speed.
- Added information about how performance and other values are calculated to profile info dialog.
- Fixed issue on login page where captcha has to be solved twice when 2FA is enabled.
- Refactored and improved the chart classes. (No visible changes)
- Added API calls for position/shared/get, social/profile_statistics and social/profile_trades.
- API returns the original Stop Loss and Take Profit values for copied positions now.
- Open positions are now ordered by date_created in ascending order instead of descending order in the API.
- Added trailing stop loss field to open positions list in the user/overview.php API method.
- Changed overnight financing charge values of market/details API to a percentage value.
- Updated API documentation accordingly.
- Fixed several typos and spelling mistakes.
- Updated mobile version to latest stable interface build.
Our recent update only contains minor changes and bug fixes:
- Lowered copy reward from 25% to 20%. In return referrers now earn a 5% reward for copied positions as well.
- Links are now clickable in the profile “about me text” (need to start with http:// or https://).
- Added market hours dialog to market details.
- Added market hour data to API method market/details.
- Improved and optimized the market hour page.
- Fixed issues when reaching maximum length for the profile “about me text” when using some special characters.
- Fixed a bug where the currency conversion button did not work with the mouse on small screen sizes or on touch devices with big screen sizes.
- Advertising our new mobile app more aggressively on the website.
- Added a link to the API documentation on the access management page.
- Closed positions which were copied now show the Stop Loss and Take Profit values of the original position and not just placeholders.
- Improved several transaction descriptions in the transaction log.
- Revised chart, moved annotations. All charts now resize when the browser window is resized.
- Dozens of minor bug fixes and stability improvements.
- App does not reload after phone rotation anymore.
- Profile image upload is now possible on newer Android versions.
- Updated trading platform to newest stable version.
As always, we would love to receive your feedback. Do not hesitate to contact us!
We are happy to announce that our Android app is finally available on Google Play.
There are a few advantages over our web version:
- Selected and heavily tested software builds guarantee a stable trading experience.
- Better performance.
- No annoying URL bar at the top.
- A native interface for logging in and account creation.
We hope that you enjoy our new app and look forward to your feedback.
PS: We also plan to release an iOS version in the near future.
With today's update we added an automatic future rollover system. All FUTURE CFD orders and positions will be automatically "rolled over" to the next contract on our rollover dates. This means that the entry, limit, stop entry, stop loss and take profit prices are adjusted for the price difference on that day.
We also deployed a lot of other smaller improvements and changes. Here is the full changelog
- Completely redesigned trading idea page.
- It is now possible to edit copy trader settings without having to stop and start copying again.
- Added automatic rollover for future markets like OILWTI.
- Introduced the new contract types “STOCK” and “FUTURE”.
- Fixed issues when entering an empty search query.
- Comments on trades are now sorted in ascending order. (Oldest comment at the top)
- Added dialog for stock markets where dividend dates are shown.
- Added dialog for future markets where rollover dates are shown.
- Added an error message when trying to copy a trader that you’re already copying.
- A popup now warns if local (cached) files have a different version than our back-end API which lead to broken components in the past. It also offers a “Update files now” functionality.
- Fixed a bug where open public trades were labelled as closed.
- Fixed a bug where uncopied closed trades were shown to be a copy of themselves.
- Allow to set a copy limit of one trade per day. Former minimum was five trades per day.
- Fixed a bug where order creation was blocked because of using a decimal number in the profit/loss calculator.
- Removed copy_of flag from orders since positions can no longer be manually copied (API)
- Capitalized all letters for market/categories return (API)
- Added STOCK and FUTURE as market types (API)
1Broker takes no sides in the ongoing blocksize debate.
However, with the rise of Bitcoin Unlimited hashing power, the unthinkable might happen in the foreseeable future: A (controversial) fork of the Bitcoin blockchain. This has serious implications for end users and especially businesses and exchanges. That said, we think it’s necessary to define our action plan for such a fork beforehand. In this blog post we want to answer some common questions we have received:
What is a fork of Bitcoin?
In short, a fork is a permanent divergence in the blockchain that occurs when nodes follow different consensus rules. By observing the Bitcoin community, the most likely event that causes a fork is when Bitcoin Unlimited miners produce a block with a size of over 1 MB. This instantly leads to network split, since Bitcoin Core nodes will not accept such a block. A few hours later some transactions will exist in one blockchain, but not in the other one. While this sounds like a minor problem Bitcoin will effectively split into two separate currencies then. Depending on the Bitcoin node you run, you can't be sure if your incoming and outgoing transactions are valid in the competing blockchain anymore.
What are the implications when holding Bitcoin on 1Broker during a fork?
When a fork happens, we will instantly disable deposits and withdrawals, force-close all open BTCUSD positions and disable trading on the BTC/USD market. We reserve the right the freeze our BTC/USD market if there is a high chance of an imminent fork. Trading on all other markets will not be halted and will remain active as usual. Since 1Broker has no multi-currency support (yet), we have to decide which new base currency to support. It will take at least 2 days but not more than 3 weeks until this decision will be announced. Our decision will be based on economic factors like market capitalization, community support and the actions of other businesses.
After that we will activate deposits and withdrawals again on the next upcoming Friday at 5:00 pm (New York time). At the same time (Friday at 5:00 pm (New York time)) we will calculate the net worth of every account and set up a parallel withdraw-only platform, where users can withdraw their funds to the competing blockchain. This second platform will remain active for at least two months.
If you disagree with our action plan or want to stay as flexible as possible, please withdraw your funds before a fork happens. Due to the size of our community WE WILL NOT MAKE ANY USER-SPECIFIC EXCEPTIONS.
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.
Is a fork an attack on Bitcoin?
No. The consensus rules can be changed with enough mining power and economic support. Unfortunately, the Bitcoin community split apart some years ago because of the ongoing blocksize debate. Both communities have wealthy backers, powerful mining pools and a significant amount of people supporting them. We can't predict which of them can hold over 50% of the mining power in the long-term, but it's expected that a fork will quickly show the outcome. It will be the first time that investors can “decide” which currency is valued higher; mining power will quickly follow the higher valuated blockchain.
Is it possible that Bitcoin forks smoothly with enough time to prepare?
Yes, it's possible that Bitcoin Unlimited miners announce a hard fork beforehand to avoid any surprises. Observing the two competing communities it is, however, very unlikely that this process does not end in two separate currencies with a significant market capitalization. While a hard fork can be smooth and announced in advance a difficult situation is unavoidable.
When could a fork happen?
At the time of writing this blog post Bitcoin Unlimited supporting mining pools have a combined hashing power of 33.1%. Once this value reaches 50% a fork becomes a realistic scenario. While there are no plans to perform a hard fork immediately after reaching the majority power, there are potential attack vectors against the rest of the miners which could lead to a very “rough” and dangerous fork.
For the sake of Bitcoin, we hope that Bitcoin Unlimited mining pools at least announce the date for the attempted hard fork and configure their nodes properly.
Is this the death of Bitcoin?
No. Bitcoin has by far the largest community, acceptance and market capitalization. All stakeholders are interested in a long-term success of this currency and even if a fork happens it will survive this controversial phase. There is no danger that your funds get lost or that someone can spend them without your consent.
We will add this action plan to our Terms of Service next week and keep you updated on this topic. If you have any questions or concerns please contact us.
With today's update we added a copy trader page, which contains basic information about this new system.
As always, we also deployed a lot of other smaller improvements and changes. Here is the full changelog:
- Added badge to mobile UI when there are unread notifications.
- Bumped withdrawal fee to 0.0015 BTC because of the increased Bitcoin network fees.
- Upgraded Bitcoin daemon to the newest version.
- Outgoing transactions are now RBF (replace-by-fee) ready.
- Added warning text to the copy dialog, when it is possible to run out funds.
- Changed the way shared trade and trader lists are ordered.
- Made the 1Broker logo an actual link instead of using an onclick handler.
- Added profit/loss percentage to position close notification for shared trades.
- Trading idea page (shared trade) now shows if Trailing Stop Loss is enabled.
- Links in comments are now clickable.
- Added a throttle to AJAX poll if the internet connection is weak.
- Fixed paging issues when navigating back/forward with the web browser in certain components.
- Added a basic future rollover system. (More updates coming soon)
- Dozens of minor UI fixes and improvements.
Snap Inc. is an American multinational technology and social media company, founded on September 16, 2011 by Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy and based in Venice, Los Angeles. Its products include Snapchat and Spectacles, as well as the Bitmoji app.
The company is going public today and it is expected to be the biggest tech IPO since Alibaba in 2014. You can trade it on 1Broker under the symbol SNAP.
Over the past year we have constantly added new features to make our platform a more social place where people can share and discuss their trades. We have collected a lot of information and received extremely helpful feedback from the community. With today’s update we made some drastic improvements to our platform:
Automatically copy traders
It is no longer possible to copy individual trading ideas. Instead we switched to a user-based system where traders can be automatically copied with a fixed amount. We are extremely excited about this change since it allows successful users to build a stable followership easier than ever before. By utilizing our traditional reward system for copied trades you can efficiently monetize your knowledge and experience.
A beautiful new profile page
Obviously the profile page is one of the most important things for a social trading platform. With this in mind, we put a lot of love and time into a complete redesign. With the help of beautiful charts it now gives an insight into the trader’s monthly performance, followership and trading style. A custom profile picture and an “about me” text makes it possible to present yourself to your potential copiers.
Our new notification system will always keep you up-to-date. Important events like when someone copies you or a deposit gets credited to your account will be prominently displayed.
BTC/USD and the allocated funds
One of the more frustrating things on our platform is the “All allocated funds are used ...” error message when trying the enter the BTC/USD market; we know! Especially in times of high volatility it is important to know if you can enter the market beforehand. While we cannot fix the root issue (see our previous blog post), we added basic information to the market details page. It shows the percentage of our allocated funds in use.
We also made dozens of minor improvements and fixes with this update. Here is a list of the most noticeable ones:
- Improved and minimized UI on the support page.
- It’s now easier to navigate to the own profile page.
- Hovering a Bitcoin amount with the mouse will now show the full precision amount.
- Enabled CDN caching for all static pages. This reduces the page loading times by up to 90%.
- Improved visuals when a comment is deleted.
- Fixed a bug where nothing is displayed when the own comment is deleted from your trading idea.
- Moved from HTTP 302 to HTTP 301 redirects to activate browser-level caching.
- Completely redesigned the landing page of the trading panel.
- Improved the size of some buttons on mobile devices.
- Increased maximum AFK detection time from 15 to 30 minutes.
- Fixed bug where exchange rate toggle button is not displayed on mobile devices.
- Fixed issue with spinner buttons in currency input fields on Firefox.
- Renamed “Open Price” to “Entry Price” across the interface for consistency reasons.
- The “current price” in the HTML title is now properly formatted as a fixed decimal string.
- Use Math.floor instead of round in UI for currency amounts to avoid mysterious “insufficient funds” error.
- Multiple performance improvements and cleanup of unused code.
PS: Today Cloudflare announced that they were affected by a serious bug where sensitive information was leaked in some cases. We carefully analyzed the technical details of this issue and can announce that 1Broker was not affected. Nevertheless, this is a good reminder to use secure and unique passwords and to enable two-factor authentication whenever possible.