1stcoin claims to be a reliable crypto broker. But are they trustworthy? We’ll find that out in my detailed 1stcoin review.
1stcoin License and Regulation
The best way to see if a broker is reliable or not, is to see their address and license. I discovered that 1stcoin is a subsidiary of TCS Group Holdings Ltd. based in the UK.
The financial regulator in the UK is FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) and as a crypto broker, 1stcoin or its parent company must hold a license from the FCA. So, I checked FCA’s database available on their website but I didn’t find any mention of TCS Group Holdings or 1stcoin.
This means 1stcoin is an unlicensed and unregulated broker. It is operating illegally and you shouldn’t trade with them.
Be wary of unlicensed and unregulated brokers. These brokers don’t follow the stringent rules and regulations of popular authorities such as the FCA or CySEC. Such brokers can use shady techniques to steal your funds or data and get away scot-free because of their unregulated nature.
Regulatory authorities keep a close watch on licensed brokers so they don’t act against their clients’ interests. In case a broker does act against their clients’ interests, the clients can get insurance compensation from their respective regulator. For example, CySEC offers €20,000 in case the broker files for insolvency. Regulators ensure that the broker keeps their operation funds separate from their clients’ trading funds as well.
Unregulated brokers don’t provide such benefits and that’s why it’s very risky to trade with them. If you want to keep your funds and data safe from fraudsters, it’s best to avoid trading with unregulated brokers.
1stcoin doesn’t have a license and it seems they are operating illegally. It would be unsafe to trade with them.
1stcoin Trading Conditions
Checking the trading conditions of a broker can help you a lot in understanding its reliability. I always recommend checking the trading conditions of the broker before signing up with them. It ensures that you don’t sign up with the wrong broker. Let’s see if 1stcoin’s trading conditions are okay or not:
1stcoin has a simple web-based trading platform. Such trading platforms contain a lot of bugs and are prone to price manipulation. Many regulatory authorities advise against using such platforms.
In my experience, their trading platform was very generic and lacked any specific features. I wouldn’t say it’s bad but it’s not good either. Note that this broker only allows you to trade cryptocurrency pairs, while reputed brokers give access to many trading instruments.
In terms of trading platforms, Metatrader is always the best. Metatrader 4 and 5 are among the most popular trading platforms in the forex industry because of the vast amount of benefits they offer. MT4 provides you with real-time and historical data, interactive charts, as well as, online quotes to help you make better trading decisions. You don’t get such facilities with other trading platforms.
So, always look for brokers which offer MT4 or MT5.
1stcoin offers multiple accounts, out of which the smallest one is Bronze. I have discussed their trading accounts in a separate section.
The minimum deposit you need to make to start trading with 1stcoin is $250. This is considerably high.
You shouldn’t trust brokers that have high minimum deposit requirements. It’s usually an indication that the broker is a fraudster. Because most regulated brokers keep their minimum deposit limit very low to make them accessible to a wider audience.
Shady brokers keep their minimum deposit limit high so they can steal a substantial sum of funds right away.
Leverage and Spreads
This broker gives you 1:5 leverage, which is proof that they are not regulated by the FCA.
Brokers that offer very high leverage ratios, such as the one 1stcoin offers, are usually scammers. FCA, the financial regulator in the UK, doesn’t allow its brokers to offer more than 1:30 leverage to their customers. They have added this restriction to ensure that clients don’t lose their funds because of recklessly high leverage ratios. A very high leverage ratio can cause you devastating losses.
Shady forex brokers keep their leverage ratios high so they can trap their clients in large piles of debt.
In terms of spreads, 1stcoin’s spread for the BTC/USDT pair was $184 which is too high by industry standards. Such a high spread would prevent you from making substantial profits and all your funds would go into the broker’s pocket.s
Following are the different trading accounts 1stcoin offers:
The minimum deposit for this account is $250. You’ll need to pay a monthly withdrawal fee and will get trading alerts, live sessions, and bonuses worth up to 50% of your deposit.
The minimum deposit for this account is $1000. All the benefits are the same as the Bronze account except you get bonuses worth up to 70% of your deposit.
You’ll need to invest $5000 minimum to get this account. They claim to provide you a personal coach and bonuses up to 100% along with the benefits we discussed before.
This account requires you to invest a minimum amount of $10,000 and gives you bonuses worth up to 120% along with the benefits of Gold account.
The minimum deposit for this account is $50,000 and gives you bonuses up to 200% along with the benefits of Premium account.
This account is Sharia compliant and claims to provide the most lucrative payout structures. They also provide fund insurance up to 50%.
The VIP account offers the same benefits as the Diamond account except you get fund insurance up to 80%.
The CEO account offers the same benefits as the VIP account along with fund insurance of up to 100% of your deposit.
1stcoin Payment Methods and Charges
As 1stcoin is a crypto broker, I didn’t expect them to offer multiple payment methods. They don’t specify which payment methods are available to users, however. But they have shown the logos of MasterCard, Visa and QIWI.
For withdrawals, they claim to take one to three business days to process requests.
1stcoin charges a monthly withdrawal fee for every trading account. On top of that, if you choose to withdraw your funds through bank transfer, you’ll have to pay €50.
They charge an inactivity fee of €50 if your account doesn’t perform any trades for 90 days. 1stcoin charges the inactivity fee on a monthly basis. What’s fishy is that the broker doesn’t mention the maintenance outright on its site. No, they have kept it hidden in the fine print of their terms and conditions.
You must have noticed that they offer numerous bonuses for every trading account. Apart from those bonuses, 1stcoin runs promotion campaigns for new users.
Don’t trust those bonuses.
It’s common knowledge in the forex industry that you should never trust a broker because of its bonus offers. Remember that the funds you get through a bonus belong to the broker and not you. Moreover, forex bonuses allow the broker to impose hidden restrictions on withdrawal requests so the client can’t get its funds back.
Bonuses are quite popular among forex scammers because they allow them to attract new users. Be wary of brokers who offer a lot of bonuses.
Is 1stcoin a Scam? Yes!
It’s clear by now that 1stcoin is a scam. The forex sector has many kinds of scammers. Usually, the scammers in this field focus on attracting new and inexperienced traders to their platforms through fake claims and bonus offers. They get the user to sign up on their platform and accept their fishy terms and conditions. Such brokers hide their unfair conditions in the fine print and people usually ignore them while signing up.
Then, they either use hidden fees or make excuses to take away the deposited funds from their user’s trading accounts. Having a high minimum deposit ensures that they get a substantial amount to steal from every user.
The best way to combat such scams is to do thorough research before signing up on any new broker’s website. You should check the broker’s regulation, license, address, and its reputation online. Some brokers even spend money on fake reviews to create a fake positive reputation on the internet.
1stcoin Review: Conclusion
1stcoin doesn’t have a license, has a shady trading platform, and doesn’t provide much information about its payment methods. They have hidden their fee-related information deep into the fine print of their terms and conditions.
All of these points indicate that 1stcoin is a scam and you should avoid doing business with them.
Be sure to share this 1stcoin review with others. The more people know about this scam, the better.