eToro Hires Cybersecurity Expert Ahead of US Expansion

August 20, 2018 — 6:00 AM EDT

Cyprus-based eToro has hired cybersecurity expert Buky Carmeli to assist in a global expansion that will soon bring cryptocurrency trading to the United States. An ex-officer in the Israeli Defence Forces' elite tech units, Carmeli will advise the popular broker on system security at a time when rivals have been criticized for software vulnerabilities that could expose customer accounts to hacking and other malicious activity.

The company grew rapidly during the 2017 crypto boom and has secured financing for a major expansion into the U.S. and Gibraltar. Carmeli will work to ensure that system growth includes state-of-the-art security features to protect client assets and company revenues. He is well qualified to assume that task after serving as director general of the Israeli National Cyber Security Authority, where he managed infrastructure and operational defense in Israel's civilian cyberspace.

CEO Yoni Assia commented on the hiring, stating, "eToro takes its commitment to protect our users very seriously. We have spent the last decade building up our systems to safeguard as much as possible against potential breaches in security including a cyber-attack."

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Broker Study Reveals Most Traders Lose Money

European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) regulations that went into effect on Aug. 1 include a provision for brokers to report percentages of winning and losing clients, in an effort to curtail false claims and misleading advertising. That information has now been compiled into a database by Finance Magnates, revealing wide variations in profitability from broker to broker. eToro and Saxo Bank beat most rivals by a healthy margin in the head-to-head match-up, with winning traders coming in at 35% and 29%, respectively.

iForex, XTB and Plus500 profitability slumped at the other end of the spectrum, reporting winning traders at 14%, 18% and 19%, respectively. Those weak metrics could shock current account holders, encouraging them to shop for a new broker. The vast majority of European brokers reported profitability between 20% and 27%, with that mid-range encompassing results from Markets.Com, CMC Markets, AVA Trade, IG Group, FxPro, FXCM and GAIN Capital Holdings, Inc. (GCAP). 

IG Group Expands Community Features

London-based IG Group has expanded IG Community, its forum for traders and investors wanting to socialize and discuss world financial markets. New features include guest postings, allowing anonymous commentary that will be pre-screened by moderators to reduce spamming and trolling. The company also added a forum navigation bar to the website and is testing a polling feature that will gauge community opinion about major securities that include cryptocurrencies.

GAIN Capital Withdraws GetGo App From Europe and UK

GAIN Capital, parent of City Index and introducing broker for dozens of smaller European operations, has withdrawn its popular GetGo app from the European and U.K. markets to comply with new ESMA regulations. The app utilizes algorithms that measure millions of data points to locate price patterns with profitable historical results. It includes a suite of "how to" features designed to build trader skill levels and a communication interface that sends real-time signals as notifications. The software was first released in December 2017 and has undergone numerous enhancements in the past nine months. 

At the same time, the broker announced that Australian clients can now use the app, releasing version 1.0.15 for iOS and 1.0.5 for Android. In 2016, GAIN consolidated Australian operations under City Index Australia.