Beware! BitStarMarkets is an offshore broker! Your investment may be at risk.
RECOMMENDED FOREX BROKERS
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Open trading accounts with at least two brokers.
BitStarMarkets is one of those Forex brokers that list a UK contact number and an address in a different country- Switzerland in this case. It shouldn’t be a problem itself, but further legal information is missing, so it’s a noteworthy red flag! BitStarMarkets is also a broker that offer some quite peculiar leverage levels and a spread that makes profits impossible. Find out why you should avoid this Forex broker in the full BitStarMarkets review.
BitStarMarkets REGULATION AND SAFETY OF FUNDS
BitStarMarkets apparently wants to introduce itself as a Swiss broker by providing an address in the Alpine country, but fails to give further evidence that it’s true. Switzerland is one of the most secure for the traders, but at the same time, most demanding towards the brokers financial jurisdictions there are. If a company wants to get a Swiss license and sell investment products and services, it has to provide 20 million Swiss Francs in paid-up capital. We doubt that BitStarMarkets has these funds at their disposal, judging by the unprofessional look of their website and their services as a whole. Our research in the FINMA (the swiss financial regulator) register was fruitless, just as expected. We didn’t find anything in the FCA (the British financial authority) register either, so BitStarMarkets isn’t a UK broker, too.
In the BitStarMarkets T&Cs, however, we spotted that the Marshall Islands laws apply to the contract between them and the traders. It’s a warning sign whatsoever because the islands do not even have a financial authority, let alone Forex regulations that take place. The Marshall Islands brokers are dangerous for the traders and should be avoided at all cost. Your funds are not safe if you make a deposit with BitStarMarkets because it’s an unlicensed broker that illegally offer Forex products and services on regulated markets.
Avoid BitStarMarkets and trade only with legit brokers such as the CySEC (Cyprus) or the FCA (Britain) regulated ones. Europe created a safe environment for the traders’ funds by implementing a variety of strict rules and regulations and not surprisingly all the top brokers in the world hold European licenses. The rules mentioned include a minimum capital requirement of 730 000 EUR, segregation of the clients’ deposits, negative balance protection of the accounts, predefined stop-out levels and other customer protection measures, as well. But most importantly, the deposits made by the traders are guaranteed by the deposit insurance funds that were inaugurated to further contribute to the health of the system. In Cyprus, the clients can claim up to 20 000 EUR in compensation, while the guarantees in the UK are of up to 85 000 GBP. Each EU member state is compelled to create and further operate similar deposit insurance funds, which are considered to be the last resort for the traders, in case a Forex broker faces difficulties to meet its financial obligations.
BitStarMarkets TRADING SOFTWARE
BitStarMarkets offers a web-based platform which probably they developed by themselves. We have to warn the traders that such platforms are risky and unstable and more often than not prone to fraud and price manipulation. You can see what their platform look like at the end of this section.
We recommend the traders should rely on MetaTrader4 and MetaTrader5 brokers because MT is the best retail FX trading platform that’s not surprisingly the favourite one of the skilled traders. It’s solid and comes with sophisticated trading tools and features such as Expert Advisors, Automated Trading available, Complex Indicators, its programming language- MQL and even a marketplace.
The EUR/USD spread is something we’ve never seen before, that’s out of the question. It’s 100 pips, yes, that’s not a confusion of ours but the real spread that apply if you trade with BitStarMarkets! It’s an offensive difference between Buy and Sell quotes that make the profit potential literally non-existent. The spread constitutes the price that the trader has to pay to open a position, and such a huge difference turn BitStarMarkets into the costliest broker we’ve come across. The industry standard is 1 pip or below, so the trading conditions offered by BitStarMarkets are 100 times worse than usual!
The maximum leverage is said to be 1:40, which is a ratio that’s of medium risk. The leverage is the second crucial aspect of trading, besides the spread, and it also has a direct impact on the potential profits. The leverage allows the traders to increase the size of their position, making the trading more affordable, but it comes with risks that escalate. EU, UK and Australia (from the spring of 2021) capped the maximum allowed ratio that the regulated brokers might offer at 1:30 as a customer protection measure. Higher levels are considered too risky for the traders, and we recommend that the traders should stop looking for 1:100 or 1:500 because they might quickly end up trading with scammers.
BitStarMarkets DEPOSIT/WITHDRAW METHODS AND FEES
The minimum initial deposit required is $250, which is in line with the offshore brokers but higher than the regulated brokers’ standard- $100 on average.
No minimum withdrawal requirements were found, but it turns out that withdrawals might be impossible due to the bonus policies that apply. We’ll explain why shortly. Also, there are no withdrawal fees to apply. The withdrawal request is said to be processed within 2 days, which seems fair, but do not expect to fill one up and pull profits out when the spread starts from 100 pips!
An account becomes dormant after 12 months of inactivity and will be subject to $30 annual administrative fee, which is a condition that meets the industry standards.
Now, here’s the crucial part of this review. There is a welcome bonus of at least 50% on the deposit when the trader opens an account. But the bonus is final, which means that a withdrawal is impossible unless the trader executes a minimum trading volume- 30 times the amount of the bonus plus the deposit. We suspect that BitStarMarkets might urge the traders to take bonuses, or even insert the incentive automatically! You can find out more about the bonuses as a tool deployed by the scammers in the next section.
BitStarMarkets also offer some Bundles that are said to bring at least 280% payout, but you shouldn’t believe that, because it’s a return that’s not attainable in the real world! Avoid BitStarMarkets because you are guaranteed to lose your money due to the bad trading conditions that they provide!
HOW DOES THE SCAM WORK
The scammers and the offshore brokers are crazy about bonuses and promotions. Everyone loves gifts and candies, and the scammers make use of that! It’s a warning sign that many traders are searching for brokers that offer bonuses or promotions because they might fall prey to scammers. EU and UK disallowed the regulated brokers to offer trading incentives, because of the risks involved. At the same time, the scam brokers went in love with the bonuses, as they saw a great opportunity to rip off the clients more easily, especially if the trading incentives are combined with increased leverage levels such as 1:500.
The bonuses are not free money, but a leverage tool that significantly increases the risks for the traders further. The sham brokers, however, will not explain this to the clients but will let them believe that they’ve hit the jackpot. Precisely the opposite is true though because the trading incentives entirely benefit the brokers, not the traders. Moreover, the scammers will not miss the chance to introduce additional provisions and requirements that are way too challenging to meet and often block the funds in the account, making it impossible for the traders to make a withdrawal.
WHAT TO DO WHEN SCAMMED
No one is immune to scam, and anyone can fall into the trap. Scammers are always looking for new and different ways to scam consumers. What you need to do first, in case you got scammed, is to protect yourself from further risks. Contact your bank and explain to them your situation, they will give you necessary instructions to follow and will help you, if possible, recover your money.
Report what happened to you, file a complaint, contact the financial regulator, contact other government institutions related to trading and investing. Seek help actively!
It’s very important not to rush blindly trying to recover your funds because many scam recovery agencies and individuals are stalking, aiming to double scam the victims. These will most likely ask for an advanced payment, but will do nothing to help you recover your losses!
Share online your experience; it’s important to protect others, as well. Be responsible!