Because of the nature of the binary options industry it is very easy to become confused between the myriad platforms and brokers. This article is a guide into the difference between a binary options platform and broker and some of the top names in both categories. For anyone coming from the forex world this set up is a little bit different than what you are used to so you should pay attention as well. In forex most traders use a platform such as MT4 that connects you to a broker where you place deposit your money. You trade on the MT4 platform but the financial transactions are in your brokerage account. Binary is different in that there are no downloads such as the MT4 platform because the platforms are web based and provided by the brokers. This means that there could potentially be as many platforms as there are brokers.
So, a binary options platform is the software and graphical interface (trading room) that allows you to trade. The broker is the business, financial services company, that provides you with the platform and accepts your deposits. Now, there are two basic categories of platform that make this discussion a little more interesting; the proprietary platform and the white label platform. Some brokers choose to set up and operate their own platforms. These are what I call proprietary because you will only find these platforms being used by the one broker, this is why some brokers look and trade differently from the others. White label platforms are set up to be sold to businesses who can then re-brand them as a new binary options broker. This is an easier way for a potential broker to get started because the soft ware end of the project is taken care of. This is why some brokers look exactly alike some other brokers.
SpotOption Binary Options Platform
SpotOption is one of the first, and by far the largest, white label binary options platform providers. This provider actually has two different platforms available, the original SpotOption platform and the Spot2 platform. The two platforms are basically the same in terms of trading but the Spot2 platform is more advance. Some of the top names using this platform are Banc de Binary, EmpireOption and TitanTrade; there are literally hundreds of brokers using one of the SpotOption platforms. For the most part all are tied into the same banking and cashier network except EmpireOptions which operates as a stand alone company. You can find SpotOption powered brokers that are and are not CySEC regulated, do or do not allow U.S. Traders and located anywhere binary options brokerages can be set up. SpotOption itself is CySEC registered but that does not mean the individual brokerages are.
In terms of the platform and it’s trader-friendliness I think it is one of the top three. The platform supports digital high/low binary trading, range, touch and 60 second trading. The asset list is one of the largest of any platform and comes with the most availability. Some of the smaller and proprietary platforms may list as many but you will not find them available for trading. The feature about SpotOption brokers that I like the best and is the most attractive for serious market speculators is the expiry. Most platforms cater specifically to the forex day trader and only have intra-day expiry. SpotOption brokers have everything from the 60 second and 2 minute speed trading to a variety of intra-day, end of day, end of tomorrow, end of week, end of the month and on out for up to 6 months on some assets.
AnyOption Binary Option Platform
Anyoption may be the first broker/platform to hit the market and it is by far the leading innovator. AnyOption is a proprietary platform and broker with the assets, expiry and bonus features that set it apart from every other platform or broker on the market today. AnyOption is a CySEC regulated broker, located in Cyprus, and unfortunately does not accept U.S. Traders at this time. In terms of trading it is very similar to SpotOption in that it has a very full asset list, high availability and expiry. Expiry include short term speed trading as well as intra-day, end of day, end of week and end of month. Expiry is not quite as good as SpotOption but there are other features that may trump expiry.
AnyOption was the first to include what others have now labeled Option Builder. This is a feature that allows traders to tailor the risk/reward profiles of their trades to maximize gains and minimize losses. Other innovations include Binary 100 and Option+, two features that make 60 second, 2 minute and 5 minute options obsolete. Binary 100 are options with fixed strike prices that pay either $0 or $100 at expiry. These options can be bought or sold, unlike standard binary and can be opened or closed at will allowing you to cut losses or lock in prices when you need to. The Option+ feature is standard binary trading but with the added bonus of being able to sell the options at will. Additional features not found on other platforms are binary options on upcoming IPO’s and fixed price Bitcoin options.
Other Platforms Are Good Too…
There are a number of other good platforms out there too. One is called Tech Financials, a white label platform. This is the platform that powers brokers such as 24Option. Tech Financials platform is top notch in terms of assets, option types and availability but is lagging SpotOption and AnyOption in terms of expiry. Another proprietary platform provider that I like is StockPair. StockPair first came on the scene with pairs trading, similar to forex but matching pairs of indices, stocks or commodities. They have since moved into binary as well and have expiry to match or maybe even surpass what is offered by SpotOption. Forex broker Avatrade has also entered the arena with a new platform and broker called PowerOption. This by no means is the end all, be all, list of binary options platforms but it is a good introduction into what you will find when you start your search for a broker.