Founded in 2012, Darwinex is a London based online brokerage that enables sophisticated traders to trade the market and investors to back them. They offer over 300+ assets including Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrency, Stocks, Shares, Indices, Metals, Energies & CFDs, delivered with institutional-grade pricing and free historical tick data.
Darwinex provide direct market access (DMA) trading with interbank spreads starting from just 0 pips and low execution latency. Prices are sourced directly from prime brokers SaxoBank and LMAX. They have over 3,000 clients in over 80 countries and employ 40+ staff.
Darwinex servers are connected to their liquidity providers at the London Equinix LD4 Data Centre. Their MetaTrader servers are co-located with liquidity providers to help reduce trade latency. There is no dealing desk (NDD) which avoids a conflict of interest between broker and clients.
They use a proprietary liquidity aggregation engine to evaluate the market conditions and direct the trade flow to the best liquidity provider at any point in time. This liquidity aggregation can help to improve execution speeds and offer liquidity during volatile conditions.
Darinex offer a “hedge fund as a service” model to retail and institutional traders. Through this model, they apply a risk overlay to the underlying trading strategies which are then listed on the exchange and made available to third party capital on the platform. Darwinex’s risk management overlay standardizes risk across the entire spectrum of trading strategies and thus facilities an apples to apples comparison for investors.
Darwinex have thousands of trading strategies that clients can invest in for a performance fee. Traders who perform well are rewarded with lower pricing, commission as low as $3 per standard lot per round trip is available for those who qualify.
Pros / Cons
- Strict regulation
- FSCS insurance
- Segregated accounts
- Social trading
- Direct market access (DMA)
- FIX API
- Free tick data
- No US clients
- Limited trading tools
- Limited educational material
- Minimum $500 deposit
The Darwinex® trademark and domain are owned by Tradeslide Trading Tech Limited, a UK-based company authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). They have offices located in London and Madrid.
Darwinex clients benefit from free supplementary insurance that covers Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) eligible clients for up to a total of £500,000 compared to the standard protection of £85,000. Evidence is available of this insurance here and valid at the time of writing this review.
Darwinex state that they hold client funds in segregated accounts with Barclays (UK). Funds in a segregated account are separate from the company funds, which can give assurance in the hypothetical event of insolvency. Client funds are monitored per the FCA´s CASS regime 1, which requires them to reconcile outstanding balances daily and report any discrepancies.
Darwinex hold a Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) passport to deliver their services in all EU countries. For a brokerage to offer services to a European, they must be regulated under MiFID as Darwinex are. MiFID provides harmonised regulation for investment services across the 31 member states of the European Economic Area
Darwinex aim to be as transparent as they can with respect to clients, employees and the law. The regulation and insurance in place to help protect client’s funds and information whilst giving them peace of mind they are using a trusted broker.
Darwinex accept traders from most countries around the world except for some countries with more restrictive regulations like the USA, Japan and Iran.
Darwinex Trading Platforms
Darwinex offer their trading conditions across a range of different platforms. There is the popular MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and MetaTrader 5 (MT5) platforms available on desktop (Windows / Mac), web and mobile (iPhone / iPad / Android / Tablet). Forex trading, indices and commodities are available on both platforms whereas shares are only available on MT5.
They understand that some traders require more than the capabilities of these platforms and thus offer the following auxiliary libraries to complement the MetaTrader / FIX API stack:
- FIX v4.4 Pricing & Trading Modules (in Python)
- ZeroMQ-enabled Python to MetaTrader Bridge (in Python)
- ZeroMQ-enabled MetaTrader Server EA (in MQL)
- DARWIN API Wrappers in Python & R
Clients can access Darwinex liquidity via FIX and a proprietary API offering (DARWIN API) to trade DARWIN assets on their Exchange.
Users of the Zorro trading platform can also connect to and trade at Darwinex via Zorro’s MT4 & MT5 Bridge solutions.
MetaTrader 4 (MT4)
MT4 is one of the most widely used trading platforms by traders across the globe. It comes in multiple languages and is known for its intuitive user interface that makes it a popular choice for novice and advanced traders.
MT4 is fully customisable with a wide range of features including technical indicators for chart analysis, multiple time frames, multiple order types, trading templates, real time price quotes, alert notifications and automated trading.
The built in MetaEditor enables users to code their own custom indicators and expert advisors (EAs) in the MQL programming language. There is a strategy tester for testing systems over historical data and a large online community where other MetaTrader users share indicators, EA’s and ideas.
MetaTrader 5 (MT5)
MT5 is similar to MT4 with a few extra features including more time frames, more order types, additional technical indicators, depth of market and multi-currency back testing.
MetaTrader Web Platform
The MetaTrader web platform allows users to run MetaTrader directly in their browsers without having to install or run any additional software. It contains the same features as the desktop version and is compatible with most major web browsers.
MetaTrader Mobile Platform
The MetaTrader mobile platform is available for download on both Android and iOS. You can get it from the relevant app store as a free download. This platform is useful for those who need to trade whilst on the go from anywhere in the world provided there is an internet connection. Most of the main features from the desktop platform are available including chart analysis and push notifications. You can open, manage and close positions.
The Financial Information eXchange (FIX) protocol was introduced in 1992 and is an open messaging standard controlled by no single individual or entity, and can be structured to meet the requirements of each entity that employs it.
FIX protocol provides the framework for straight through processing (STP) and connections between a wide range of counter-parties. It is vendor neutral with flexible and standardized exchange transactions between parties. Standardized fields of data serve as the building blocks of all FIX messages, and allow the flow of information from beginning to end in a transaction.
FIX benefits include short round-trip transaction times, support for multiple brokers and convenience for strategy developers using different programming languages that supports socket communication.
ZeroMQ to MetaTrader Connectivity
ZeroMQ is an Open Source, Asynchronous Messaging Library and Concurrency Framework for building an extensible, high performance bridge between external (non-MQL) programming languages and MetaTrader.
ZeroMQ enables programmers the flexibility to connect various codes in numerous ways whilst eliminating a user’s dependence on MetaTrader supported technology. Strategies and indicators can be developed in C/C#/C++, Python, R, Java, etc and deployed to market via MetaTrader.
Zorro to MetaTrader Connectivity
Zorro is a free software tool for financial analysis, machine learning, and algorithmic trading strategy development. It is capable of back testing and live trading with a simple interface that has a sophisticated set of features and capabilities.
Traders are able to develop, back test and trade their strategies in the Lite-C programming language. Zorro has a bridge plugin for MT4 & MT5 so that traders can control MetaTrader directly from their Zorro trading strategies written in Lite-C, without any knowledge of MQL required.
Darwinex Trading Tools
One of the main features of Darwinex is the ability to invest in DARWINs. With great emphasis on this, there are not many stand alone tools provided for using to assist with your own trading besides the FIX API and free historical tick data.
Darwinex Tick Data
Darwinex provide clients who have live trading accounts with high quality tick data on a range of assets for help with researching and developing trading strategies. Tick data is useful for robust back testing especially with a strategy that relies on short term market movements and intraday trading.
Darwinex offer the Darwinex online training school that was created to share their knowledge with traders to help them improve their trading education and skills.
The Darwinex Investors Programme is aimed towards training novice investors who are starting to manage passive investments in DARWINs.
The programme includes apps for iOS and Android devices and multimedia, interactive educational material. There are practical cases to learn how you can apply what has been learned along with self-evaluation exercise. Also included is a rewards system based on the achievement of objectives and student support service.
The Darwinex website has a vast frequently asked question (FAQ) section that covers many questions related to accounts, platforms and trading. There is an active online community forum where clients share trading ideas and knowledge.
Darwinex Trading Instruments
Darwinex offer retail and institutional traders a wide range of trading instruments across multiple markets including Forex, Commodities, Cryptocurrency, Stocks, Shares, Indices, Metals, Energies & CFDs.
Clients have access to trade 40+ forex currency pairs based on major, minor and exotic currency crosses. Cryptocurrencies can be traded based on Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin and Ripple.
They offer metals trading on gold, silver, platinum and palladium. Energies Crude Oil (WTI) and Natural Gas are available to trade.
CFD’s can be traded on Indices including AUS200, NDX, SPX500, UK100, WS30 and more. There are also 30+ stock CFD’s based on shares of major US companies such as Apple, Amazon & Facebook.
Darwinex Trading Accounts & Fees
Darwinex offers the ability to trade your own account or follow the strategy of other traders. Traders who already have a profitable trading strategy can choose to list their strategy on Darwinex and receive a 20% success fee from the profits made by other traders who follow the strategy.
For retail clients, a minimum initial deposit of 500 GBP/EUR/USD applies, and for corporate clients the minimum is 10,000 GBP/EUR/USD. Demo accounts are available to test the different trading platforms, conditions and DARWINs before opening a real account.
A DARWIN combines a trading strategy managed by a trader with Darwinex’s independent risk management engine. You can open an account of your own to invest in a Darwin. There is a 20% performance fee only for profitable DARWINs. The trader’s incentive is to perform well consistently.
The website displays the performance of DARWINs with the strategies of independent traders from over 100 countries listed. There is a diverse range of short and long-term trading strategies to choose from with underlying instruments from multiple markets including currencies, stocks, commodities and/or indices.
Professional clients who meet certain criteria can apply for a professional account that can give monthly volume-based rebates, lower commissions, a dedicated account manager and no ESMA leverage restrictions.
Traders who perform well are rewarded with lower transaction costs. Darwinex rates trading strategies based on a proprietary algorithm that they call the Darwinex Score (D-Score). This aims to quantitatively measure the odds of a trading strategy (DARWIN) performing in the future. They state that it is composed of 12 sub algorithms, being a clean, transparent and fair way to quantify trader skills. Using the D-Score, traders can be rewarded with reduced commissions by up to 40%.
Darwinex Customer Service
Darwinex provide customer service via email, phone and a contact form on their website for emergency issues only. They could benefit by offering an online chat option as many other brokers do.
Darwinex Deposit & Withdrawal
Darwinex accounts can be funded via bank transfer, credit or debit card and online payment services. They cover deposit costs with the majority of deposit methods. Some fees may be charged when using certain payment methods. Bank transfers may take a few business days to clear whilst some methods such as card payments can be instant.
If you want something quick then you may consider an online payment processor, they offer such as Skrill or PayPal. Please note that some methods may only be available to specific countries.
Accounts can be opened in GBP, EUR, USD. The different currency options are beneficial as currency conversion fees do not apply when using an account in your own currency.
The minimum amount required for your first deposit is 500 GBP/EUR/USD for individual / joint Darwinex accounts and 10,000 GBP/EUR/USD for corporate Darwinex accounts. The minimum amount for subsequent deposits is 100 GBP/EUR/USD. The minimum amount for withdrawals is 10 GBP/EUR/USD.
Darwinex charges a fee for any deposit lower than 500 GBP/EUR/USD. Deposits via bank transfer are card must be made from an account in the name of the Darwinex customer.
Darwinex Account Opening
Signing up as a trader at Darwinex requires completing a short online form and then confirming your email. You then need to upload a proof of identify (e.g. passport or drivers license) and proof of address (e.g. utility bill). This is normal as part of KYC procedures. Once the accounts team have verified your documents you will then be able to fund your account and commence with your trading. The process to signup as an investor is similar although you will need to provide Darwinex with more information on your trading strategy and history.
Darwinex is an innovative broker utilising advanced technologies to provide trading services for both traders and investors on a retail and institutional scale. They focus greatly on the social aspect of what they offer through the DARWINs managed accounts where traders can invest in other strategies for a performance fee. The overall trading costs improve based on performance which helps to encourage responsible trading. Platforms are very flexible with the FIX API solution attractive for the more advanced traders and MT4 offered for beginners. Trading tools and educational materials are limited
CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 66% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.