Fancy a punt on the direction of a cash currency in the next five minutes? The latest innovation in the BetOnMarkets.com portfolio of binary bet types is the one to five minute flash bet on more than a dozen cash currencies, as well as crude oil. It’s basically a double or nothing bet starting when you click and ending to the second the number of minutes later you have chosen to run the bet. Larry Levy takes a look at the mechanics of this new retail instrument.
To add to the thrill the tick prices can be played out on the Flash application as the bet progresses (see Fig 1). The site accepts bets in Euro’s, US$, or Sterling on increments from a return of a pound, dollar or euro in steady increments up to 2500 units in those three currencies.
Instruments include AUDJPY, AUDUSD, EURAUD, EURCAD, EURCHF, EURGBP, EURJPY, EURSEK, EURUSD, GBPAUD, GBPCAD, GBPCHF, GBPNOK, GBPJPY, GBPSEK, GBPUSD, NZDUSD, USDCAD, USDCHF, USDJPY, USDNOK, USDSEK and Crude Oil.
Account funding is possible with credit card or a variety of other methods.
The concept of Binary Bets (also known as binary or box options) on markets was once the domain of the institutional quant set, and has now been popularized by half a dozen companies in the retail sector. The father of this retail financial betting revolution, Jean Yves Sireau, heads up BetOnMarkets.com, (and its sister operation Betonmarkets.co.uk for the UK customer base.) BetOnMarkets.com also provides a range of bets on a wide range of cash currencies — something most other binary companies do not concentrate on.
Tightly run, and backed by Regent Markets Group in Hong Kong, the html and Java based binary betting website company has offices in Malaysia, Malta and the Isle of Man, with the main operation in Cyberjaya, a tech hub near to Kuala Lumpur.
Placing a “Flash Bet” takes less than a minute. This is via a simple interactive drop down HTML menu, where one chooses the amount of the bet, the currency of the bet, the instrument of the bet and the time period between one and five minutes for the bet to run.
Having filled out the “order ticket”, as it were, the bet is priced from the BetOnMarkets server and is “ready to go”. Its very important to do this entry work before time as often the market will only reach an optimal entry point for a second and it can take up to 30 seconds or more to fill out the bet order ticket.
A Java Tick Chart can also be placed at the bottom powered by the BetOnMarkets quote engine, allowing the trader to initiate the bet when the price reaches the target area. Since a single pip makes the difference between winning and losing the bet, precise bet start time is critical. Bets that end on the same price as the start price are “Lose” bets. This makes for the so called “house edge”.
Having clicked to place the bet there is a break of some seconds before the interactive Flash (or non Flash) display of the running position is loaded. As first one worries that this latency gives time for the price to move against one. However, the latency is a slight illusion (albeit a worrying one) as in tests we found that the fill received was generally at the point where the market was at that second, rather than a few seconds later when the display appears. So the delay is essentially in the loading of the display rather than in the execution of the bet itself, though of course the market could move for or against ones price even in the transmit time to the BetOnMarkets.com engine, so exact an exact execution price cannot be assured.
The real obstacle to winning though is not necessarily the house edge. It is perhaps made up of the usual greed, impatience, lack of trading skill and lack of discipline. Even more than in conventional trading, precision is absolutely critical if one is to have any chance of winning consistently. For many this bet will constitute a challenge or a punt rather than a serious attempt at trading. However, this is technically possible though the level of consistency and accuracy needs to be high in order to win over a period of time.
With normal FX position trading a one pip difference on entry often does not matter very much — as one knows that one wants to be either long or short but in the case of the binary bet the entire amount wagered depends on the bet being just one tick in ones favor.
A virtual account with 10,000 US$, EUR and GBP of play money is available to practice. We tested the system with accounts containing both real and play money and found the interactive pricing to be the same. The BetOnMarkets.com system uses an aggregate average of different forex pools to run its real time forex quotes engine. Sometimes the engine gets just a little out of sync for a second with other general pools and it becomes possible to place the trade at a better price by one or more ticks.
BetOnMarkets.com’s quote engine which can be played in real time on their Flash charting engine, so that traders can try to enter at a price they feel happy with.
Flash Bets are available most of the day. They start from 00:15GMT through the trading day, with a two hour break between 10h and 12h GMT (around lunchtime in Europe) for the EUR/USD, GBP/USD and USD/CHF. Bets then close at 21h to 0:00 GMT for the last 180 minutes of the trading day, when the market is relatively quiet anyway. Also, bets are also “unavailable” at various other times during the day when the market is volatile or for other (unexplained) reasons, but on the whole the system is up and reliable.
For those who wishing to place other kinds of binary bets, a wide variety of these are available. These include Run Bets (guess the next few ticks up or down for a win or lose your stake), to Intraday Double Up or Down Bets as well as One Touch Bets (whereby the payout is made if the market touches a level just once). The opposite No Touch Bet. Barrier range binary bets specify that the market must stay within certain levels and Double Touch that prices must touch both a high and a low point within a specified period to win.
I have personally held an account at BetOnMarkets.com for the last five years. During this time the system has worked reliably, and payouts have been made promptly and without fuss. One does have to satisfy a number of address and identity checks in order to easily withdraw money, but this is as much for the safety of one’s own account as for the fidelity of BetOnMarkets.com.
A BetOnMarkets account can be opened by customers in most places. At the moment, for legal reasons BetOnMarkets cannot accept accounts from the United States and Hong Kong. The website is regulated in the UK and Isle of Man by the Gambling Control Commissioners in the Isle of Man and elsewhere by the Lotteries and Gaming Authority in Malta.
Sometimes the bets are unique and ideally suited to the market situation. At other times normal options, straight long / short trading or other vehicles are preferable to these binary bets. Each situation has to be individually quantified. However BetOnMarkets.com represents an innovative, reliable, unique and easy to use platform from which to place binary bets.