Darwinex.com was first established in the UK in 2012 under the name Tradeslide Trading Tech. Today, it operates as Darwinex.com and keeps its headquarters in London. It has been regulated by the FCA since 2014, and, under its auspices, is required to offer traders investor fund protection up to £85,000 with the FSCS.
The broker has been on a bull run of growth since its inception, recently reporting a staff holding of 40 employees who serve over 3,000 clients in 80 countries. In 2017, the broker tripled its revenue after launching the latest version of its innovative algorithmic investor rewards platform.
The broker offers trading on commodities, FOREX, indices, US stocks and cryptocurrencies. It provides Direct Market Access (DMA) trading to clients through its use of bespoke versions of popular platforms such as MetaTrader4 (MT4) and MetaTrader5 (MT5). The broker enhances these trusted tools with plugins from FIX Trading Community and its internally developed Darwin Application Programming Interface (API) technology.
The company offers superior liquidity by sourcing from multiple capital partners, with the help of its proprietary aggregation engine that dynamically seeks out the best liquidity deals. Darwinex.com’s servers are also connected to its liquidity providers using superior technology to reduce execution latency.
This broker has a range of innovative and future-facing tools that place it in a different class from many run-of-the-mill brokers. It has a powerful focus on rewarding trader behavior, with innovative bonus schemes. The broker is determined to unlock new types of value for the average trader, and it has the track record to prove it.
The broker is the perfect fit for highly sophisticated traders who are seeking a different trading experience to what is currently on offer with most brokers. These traders want to be part of a community that provides strategic direction for new traders, and rewards leading traders for their successful strategies.
These clients are also seeking a superior trading experience that features advanced platform capabilities and technology-assisted decision making. Darwinex has developed a powerful set of algorithmic tools that allows traders to use high-powered copy trading analysis to help them make investment decisions.
These sophisticated traders are in the right place with Darwinex. To begin with, the broker offers what it calls “talent-linked pricing,” which is a reward system that, in the broker’s words, “rewards talent, not volume.” The company offers reduced transaction costs to traders who show exceptional skill in their transaction history. It achieves this by using a proprietary algorithm to rate trader performance. Once it has worked out the results, it awards each trader with a so-called D-Score, which rates trader performance based on 12-sub algorithms. The idea is to measure how well an individual’s trading strategy, or DARWIN, can be used as a successful approach in the future.
The higher you score, the more discounted your pricing becomes. Each month, all trader’s strategies are reviewed, and they are ranked and rewarded according to their score. The system sums up a trader’s total monthly commission and rewards the trader with a percentage of their earnings, depending on the strength of their D-Score.
This novel approach is just one way that Darwinex sets itself apart from other brokers. However, the downside of all this innovation is that traders need to be prepared to learn the ropes of the different methods the broker operates when compared to its competitors. Here are some key factors to consider before working with this broker:
Darwinex.com is relatively safe. As aforementioned, it is regulated by the FCA in the UK. As part of this regulation, the broker partakes in the FSCS scheme that protects traders up to £85,000 per claim if the broker goes under. As usual, this level of regulation means the broker observes best practices, such as segregating investor funds in well-managed banks and offering negative balance protection.
Darwinex also offers £1,000,000 deposit protection as a free supplementary insurance. Traders should know that this covers only FSCS-eligible clients. Indeed, if the FSCS decides Darwinex is in default, the insurance company will pay affected clients an amount equal to their net loss, up to a maximum of £1,000,000. Clients do not have to pay anything for this service. To get the benefit of the scheme in the event of a claim, traders must submit their claim within 12 months of the default. The claim is processed immediately, but there is no set processing time as many steps must be taken.
The broker offers additional safety checks in the form of its MetaTrader platforms that use the highest grade of security to keep trader data safe. This includes powerful Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption and robust two-factor authentication (2FA) for access to trader accounts.
The company offers over 300 tradable instruments. This comprises 42 FOREX pairs; 10 major indices, such as the CAC40 in France; and 230 US stocks. Traders can also access five cryptocurrencies and four specialized commodities in the form of crude oil, natural gas, gold and silver. Although there is asset diversity, the total basket is modest when compared to other brokers.
Traders can also trade in HFD, which is a synthetic tradeable asset whose performance against its provider, HighFive, can be traded. The broker also offers other financial services, such as acting as a hedge fund company and an asset management firm.
Darwinex.com allows traders to create their unique portfolios and invest in over 3,000 dynamic alpha strategies, known as DARWINS. These strategies are the intellectual property that is produced by the Darwinex trading community. With the help of the broker’s algorithmic risk manager that standardizes all trading strategies to a target risk level, DARWINS are community strategies that can be used as investable assets.
Number of Assets
We found the information around Darwinex account types somewhat confusing. It was not immediately clear how many accounts the broker offers, and what each can trade. It required a concerted effort to study the Website to understand the difference between two basic accounts. New traders should know that the Website is not intuitive and does not link customers to where they need to go.
After some research, we found that Darwinex offers one account type to all retail traders. This means that, regardless of the account size, every retail client enjoys the same conditions. The account is available in several currencies, notably the USD, the EUR, the AUD, the JPY and the GBP. Traders can use the account to trade in FOREX, US stocks, indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies.
Traders can execute minimum trades at 0.01 lots. This may change depending on the instrument traded. The maximum trade level differs according to the individual trader and the item being traded. Darwinex is a Straight Through Processing (STP) broker, meaning it can offer tight spreads with price transparency. The broker allows scalping and hedging. As a Market Maker, commissions are kept low because the broker passes on the benefits of high trading volumes.
Finally, traders can take advantage of the broker’s talent-linked discounted pricing that is calculated against their D-Score. Traders can create their own portfolio of DARWINS, or liquid alpha strategies, with a selection of over 3,000 from which to choose. Traders can use the proprietary broker dashboard with risk management tools that use Darwin API technology.
Traders who take up a professional account should note that they give up FSCS protection when signing up for this account. There are stringent rules to qualify as a professional trader. For example, clients must have two of these three criteria to use the account:
A provable history of executing large transactions.
A total investment portfolio that exceeds €500,000.
Working experience in the financial sector.
If they qualify, professional traders will get access to the following benefits:
Monthly rebates based on trade volumes.
A personal account manager.
Attractive pricing from $1.25 per lot per order.
Access to high leverage.
Opening an account is easy. By now, traders will be familiar with the need to satisfy the standard compliance checks. These include declaring their trading history and experience, and providing information, such as a color copy of your passport, driving license or national ID. Traders will also need to provide a recent utility bill to prove your address details.
Traders can open a demo account using MT4 and MT5. They can practice with $10,000 of "virtual" money. Unlike many other brokers, there is no time limit on how long traders can use this account to refine their strategies.
Bonuses and promotions
As the broker is regulated by the FCA, the scope to employ lucrative promotions and bonuses is limited. However, Darwinex uses a monthly capital allocation of up to €7.5 million to reward 120 of its best traders every month.
The broker motivates traders by keeping the promotion running for a six-month period, during which time it pays winning traders, or DARWINS, 15% in performance fees on the profits they generated during the six months. This reward is a powerful motivator for traders to stick with the broker and to improve their strategies.
To facilitate this, Darwinex has rolled out its DARWIN API, designed to allow traders to find winning strategies to generate alpha from the market. The broker entices traders by telling them it recognizes their talent to comprise “Skill, intelligence, grit, domain knowledge and work ethic.” This type of positive affirmation, and the financial rewards that come with it, attracts a certain type of trader who stays with the broker for a long time.
Deposits and Withdrawals
Darwinex.com offers a standard number of methods for traders to fund their accounts. Deposit and withdrawal activity must be done through accounts that match the name of the Darwinex.com account holder. Traders can make deposits via:
After depositing the opening 500 units of base currency, traders must keep their deposit minimums to 100 currency units. The broker charges a commission of 0.5% on Skrill deposits. Transactions through bank cards are processed immediately, as with Skrill. Deposits through Trustly can take up to one business day. Bank transfers can take up to three days.
Darwinex does not charge withdrawal fees, but, as usual, third-party charges may apply. Clients will pay a 1.2% withdrawal fee on bank cards, levied by the bank. Skrill customers can also expect to pay 1.2% for a withdrawal. Trustly customers will pay €3.5. The minimum withdrawal amount is 10 currency units. All withdrawal methods take one to three business days to process. Paypal is not accepted for withdrawals.
The broker offers customer support in English, Spanish, Chinese and French. The customer desk can be accessed via a range of options, such as email, phone, and social media. However, Darwinex does not provide any live-chat service, which may disappoint some traders.
Commissions and Fees
Darwinex.com is not the cheapest broker on the market. The innovation applied to its products means traders will have to accept slightly higher fees. Nonetheless, the broker still promises fast execution and low interbank spreads from zero pips, besides its wide-ranging talent-based discount program.
For self-directed trading, live spreads come in from as low as zero pips for currencies, FOREX, and indices. Commissions depend on the item being traded. Traders dealing in currencies and FOREX will pay 2.5 per base currency per order. They will also pay 2.75 per base currency per order for indices. Commodities attract a commission of 0.00025% of order value.
Traders who take up the challenge to invest in DARWINs will pay a 1.2% commission per annum on invested equity. In return, they get back 15% in performance fees for any profits made from successful DARWIN strategies.
As per European rules and regulations, the maximum leverage available is 1:30 for major FOREX pairs. Minor pairs can be leveraged up to 1:20 and commodities up to 1:10. The broker adheres strictly to these rules. Professional traders can get access to much higher leverage amounts.
Platforms and Tools
Darwinex.com uses MT4 and MT5 as the backbone of its platform offering. However, to give greater functionality to algorithmic traders, the broker has developed a bolt on tools that upgrade the MetaTrader trading experience. Examples of such tools include pricing, trading, and advisory tools in Python.
The broker also offers proprietary API software that is designed for copy trading of assets on its DARWIN Exchange marketplace. Using this API, investors can create successful strategies based on the algorithmic capabilities of the technology. Traders can also back test their strategies, deploy trading robots, and design bespoke indicators based on their own research.
MT4: Traders can use this tool directly from their browser, with no downloads. They have access to one-click trading and real-time quotes. Clients can use any of the 30 indicators and 24 technical analysis graphs to enhance their understanding of their portfolios. They can choose any of nine timeframes to analyze their material.
MT5: Traders can trade a wide range of financial instruments at rapid order execution speeds. They can trade from charts and use up to 21 timeframes. MT5 comes with several key advancements from MT4. Some of these are access to an economic calendar, news events, and forecasts. Using 38 powerful indicators and 46 graphs, traders will not be short of insightful material with which to work.
FIX API: The Financial Information eXchange (FIX) is an open messaging service favored by many financial institutions. It has several benefits that make it perfect for STP and rapid-trade execution. It can support connections between several counterparties using flexible security standards that can work with several protocols.
The Darwinex Investor is a proprietary mobile app that allows traders to copy high-performing traders hoping to replicate their success. Traders can trade on the "go" while watching the live performance of their portfolios through an impressive array of charts.
Research and Development
Darwinex.com has an acceptable, if unspectacular, research repository. It can be found in the Videos section of the Website. The videos are well presented and cover everything from basic money management to advanced analytics strategies for algorithmic trading.
While the section contains a lot of information, its major drawback lies in its lack of structure and planning. We found that this section was not presented in a way that traders could intuitively follow. There was a prominent search bar for traders to search for items by topic, but new traders, especially, will find the lack of connectivity between topics problematic.
The research and education sections are blurred into one as the Video section contains several topics with a dual research and educational angle. Traders can find information on subjects, such as regulation and money management, instrument classes, algorithmic data analysis and portfolio construction.
Traders can take advantage of regular Webinars that can provide useful information. The broker has a busy community section, where traders can discuss matters, such as strategies and recommendations with like-minded fellow traders. The blog section is not well maintained, and new posts are only added sporadically.
Darwinex.com is a broker with a difference. Traders who tire of the lack of variety among mainstream brokers may find something of interest with this company. It offers traders a good taste of social copy trading, while recognizing and rewarding trading talent.
There is a price to be paid for this innovation, and traders may find the minimum deposit of $500 and other fees too high for their liking. That said, the enhanced platforms will provide sophisticated traders with value for money as they try to uncover the next trading edge.
While the broker’s customer service desk is of an acceptable quality, it could do with a live-chat option. At the same time, its research and education sections need work and could be better arranged and curated. However, traders will be comforted by the good levels of regulation and the extra steps the broker has taken to keep investor funds safe. Overall, this broker is an interesting option for traders looking for something different.
Darwinex.com has ticked some important boxes by ensuring that it is well-regulated, has access to good liquidity and offers excellent trading platforms. Even though it is a growing broker, belied by its modest market access, it still has a lot to offer new and experienced traders.
Traders who are interested in social trading and advanced algorithmic trading will be most interested in this broker. They will find a partner who is at pains to provide clients with the most aspirational trading tools currently available, while keeping them in the fold, by rewarding them with cash in the bank for upholding community standards by producing winning trading strategies.
Darwinex.com in Brief
Darwinex.com is a well-regulated broker that is continually growing. Its innovative trader rewards program will attract the biggest fans of social copy trading and keep them loyal. With powerful platforms and growing market access, traders can do worse than to try this broker with a twist.
The team at Arincen collected more than 120 pieces of data covering in excess of 100 licensed FOREX companies. Data collection was done in three ways:
Other Websites that have ranked FOREX companies.
A survey questionnaire (referred to here as Survey “1”) we had sent to the companies invited to participate in the exercise.
We have identified 12 criteria for our assessment, each containing several aspects and carrying its own relative weight. These include licensing, deposits and withdrawals, number of assets etc. Afterward we validated the data by:
Registering with FOREX companies as a secret shopper and/or as Arincen.
Survey number “2,” in which we asked these companies’ customers for important feedback and past experience.
The next step saw us evaluate and rank each company, relying on the hard work of 15 Arincen employees. We were very careful in ensuring the most accurate assessment possible, including taking into account different languages, as well as the various mobile-app operating systems, e.g., Apple, Samsung etc.
To add credibility to our research project, we sent a final and third survey (referred to here as Survey “3”) to enable participating FOREX companies evaluate our own research and whether it accurately reflects the realities on the ground. We were fortunate enough to receive a mark of 9.9 out of 10! We have kept to a minimum the margin of error, which stood at a measly 1%. To learn more on how we came up with the evaluation, please click here.
Where is Darwinex regulated?
Darwinex is regulated by the tier-1 FCA in the UK. As part of this regulation, the broker partakes in the FSCS that protects traders up to £85,000 per claim if the broker goes under.
In what other ways does Darwinex protect me?
This broker offers Negative Balance Protection for extra peace of mind. Darwinex also offers £1,000,000 deposit protection as a free supplementary insurance. This only covers FSCS-eligible clients. If the FSCS decides Darwinex is in default, the insurance company will pay affected clients an amount equal to their net loss, up to a maximum of £1,000,000.
Which countries does Darwinex serve?
At the time of writing, Darwinex served customers from 80+ countries. The only notable exclusion was customers from the US, who are not supported by this broker.
Does Darwinex offer Cryptocurrency trading?
Darwinex previously offered clients the options to trade in five cryptocurrencies. However, due to the low uptake not justifying the burden of regulation, the broker announced it was to discontinue crypto trading in 2021.
Does Darwinex provide any extra offerings?
Darwinex uses a monthly capital allocation of up to €7.5 million to reward 120 of its best traders every month. The broker motivates traders by keeping the promotion running for a six-month period, during which time, it pays winning traders, or DARWINS, 15% in “performance fees” on the profits they generated during the six months.
With regard to leverage, as per European rules, the maximum leverage available is 1:30 for major FOREX pairs. Minor pairs can be leveraged up to 1:20 and commodities up to 1:10. The broker adheres strictly to these rules. Professional traders can get access to much higher leverage amounts.
How do I fund my account?
Darwinex offers a standard number of methods for traders to fund their accounts. Deposit and withdrawal activity must be done through accounts that match the name of the Darwinex account holder. Traders can make deposits via:
All the same funding methods are available for withdrawals, except Paypal, which is not used for withdrawals.
Which trading platforms does Darwinex offer?
Darwinex uses MT4 and MT5 as the backbone of its platform offering. This broker also offers proprietary API software that is designed for copy trading of assets on its DARWIN Exchange marketplace.
Using this API, investors can create successful strategies based on the algorithmic capabilities of the technology. Traders can also back-test their strategies, deploy trading robots, and design bespoke indicators based on their own research.
How can I access customer service?
The broker offers customer support in English, Spanish, Chinese and French. The customer desk can be accessed via a range of options, such as email, phone and social media. Darwinex does not provide any live chat service.
Adrian Ashley is a seasoned business and finance writer. With a corporate career spanning over 20years, he has developed deep experience in such diverse areas as investing, business, finance,technology and macroeconomics. He is passionate about captu...