Forex trading is the simultaneous buying of one currency and selling another. Currencies are traded through a broker or dealer, and
are traded in pairs.
For example the euro and the U.S. dollar (EUR/USD) or the British pound and the Japanese yen (GBP/JPY).
When you trade in the forex market, you buy or sell in currency pairs.
Imagine each currency pair constantly in a “tug of war” with each currency on its own side of the rope. Exchange rates fluctuate based on which currency is stronger at the moment.
Margin and leverage are among the most important concepts to understand when trading forex. These essential tools allow forex traders to control trading positions that are substantially greater in size than would be the case without the use of these tools. At the most fundamental level, margin is the amount of money in a trader's account that is required as a deposit in order to open and maintain a leveraged trading position.
What is a leveraged trading position? Leverage simply allows traders to control larger positions with a smaller amount of actual trading funds. In the case of 50:1 leverage (or 2% margin required), for example, $1 in a trading account can control a position worth $50. As a result, leveraged trading can be a "double-edged sword" in that both potential profits as well as potential losses are magnified according to the degree of leverage used.
To illustrate further, let's look at a typical USD/CAD (US dollar against Canadian dollar) trade. To buy or sell a 100,000 of USD/CAD without leverage would require the trader to put up $100,000 in account funds, the full value of the position. But with 50:1 leverage (or 2% margin required), for example, only $2,000 of the trader's funds would be required to open and maintain that $100,000 USD/CAD position.
While a margin amount of only 1/50th of the actual trade size is required from the trader to open this trade, however, any profit or loss on the trade would correspond to the full $100,000 leveraged amount. In the case of USD/CAD at the current market price, this would be a profit or loss of around $10 per one-pip move in price. This illustrates the magnification of profit and loss when trading positions are leveraged with the use of margin.
Finally, it is important to note that in leveraged forex trading, margin privileges are extended to traders in good faith as a way to facilitate more efficient trading of currencies. As such, it is essential that traders maintain at least the minimum margin requirements for all open positions at all times in order to avoid any unexpected liquidation of trading positions.
Every currency pair consists of a base currency and a term/quoted currency. The first currency in the pair is the base currency, the second is the quote or term currency.
As an example with the EUR-USD currency pair:
EUR = Base currency USD = Term currency Bid: the rate at which you can sell the base currency. This is the first rate on the deal ticket below (1.19204).
Ask (or offer): The rate at which you can buy the base currency. This is the second rate on the deal ticket and can be found on the right (1.19228).
Bitcoin is a network that runs on a protocol known as the blockchain. A 2008 paper by a person or people calling themselves Satoshi Nakamoto first described both the blockchain and bitcoin, and for a while the two terms were all but synonymous. The blockchain has since been conceptually divorced from its first application, and thousands of blockchains have been created using similar cryptographic techniques. This history can make the nomenclature confusing. "Blockchain" sometimes refers to the original, bitcoin blockchain; other times it refers to blockchain technology in general, or to any other specific blockchain, such as the one that powers Ethereum.
Trading forex involves the buying of one currency and simultaneous selling of another. In forex, traders attempt to profit by buying and selling currencies by actively speculating on the direction currencies are likely to take in the future.
Forex is the largest, most liquid market on the planet. That size and scope creates unique challenges regarding market regulation.
How do you regulate a market that is trading 24 hours a day, all over the world?
The global supervisory bodies regulate forex by setting standards which all brokers under their jurisdiction must comply with. These standards include being registered and licensed with the regulatory body, undergoing regular audits, communicating certain changes of service to their clients, and more. This helps ensure that currency trading is ethical and fair for all involved.