(Hold your breath)
Your reply triggered a heated debate on our Slack channel
We are a few who cannot agree that MetaTrader 4 is a sufficient tool for discretionnary trading. Maybe it is good, but not versatile in all cases, for algo trading. It lacks some complexity ...or has the wrong stuff in the the wrong place at times
I can hear the Darwinian message that we can always adapt. I have no problem to adapt on new or different stuff when they represent an evolution. Yet when it becomes to adapt for the worse, some of us will stop here. In my case, at this stage of Darwinex's story, I am afraid it won't make up for the change alone.
Both of us will agree that Darwinex offers the asset manager part which is very unique ... however, maybe I represent a minority, but first and foremost I consider myself interested into prop trading, that is true, prop trading mostly. The rest for me is only some extra cherry that will plug into it and rocket at a later time than now.
I don't see myself building a wall without the first brick of best trading conditions, depending on the many different situations. I will actually deploy a robot on MT4, because I believe it fits. But for my main core discretionnary duty, MT4 does not fit.
I do regret that I get a truncated LMAX at Darwinex. One of the use of LMAX is its transparent liquidity and open order book. I have contacted a developper to create custom iceberg Market If Touched orders for LMAX to play safe and undercover against the LMAX liquidity providers (the top of the book CFDs liquidity is tight) This will happen on SierraChart. On MT4, you cannot access the order book liquidity to make use of it. My order type would allow to take care myself of the scalability problem by slicing entries and exits even before your algos act upon, so it could in fact team up with your execution recipe and compliment it nicely. On MT4, which is a too "closed" soft or have crappy performance on many parts, forget such things !
Again, natively, from factory configuration, trivial operations are lacking : no Close All or Reverse buttons, no position centric executions which allow for simple monitoring and quick global intervention on the account.
Sometimes in my life I have breached the max limits of CFD lots carried at some shops (with lots of dilemnas arrising at market makers) and it happens that from time to time I traded heavily.
I have tried on MT4 to perform similarily and I am left with countless positions to manage indepently and plugins to work with. When I use a Close All plugin as a "fix" (sigh), MT4 closes positions one by one in a sequential order at about one each every second. This is a nightware when the market moves at a very fast pace and you want to react with precision. I usually spend a great part of my day editing orders on MT4 because of the trade centric (hedging) mode. It gets so tiring and prevents me for other more interesting activities. I actually feel than I am practicing some kind of physical sport when using MT4
Conclusion, I can hear many things but not hear that some (even if few, maybe better than average, not good - aren't these the ones of interest ?) traders can translate under all conditions. Sorry, I really can't accept this argument. Some compromises are too much a regression to neglect.
I am also sorry to insist on an ethical point of view, but MT4 is to the trading platforms what FXCM is to the brokers. After all, I don't know many software companies who have deliberatly worked on solutions to cheat onto the clients. In fact, at FXCM, the MT4 accounts are amazingly rigged while the NinjaTrader and MultiCharts ones get perfect conditions (FXCM la discouraging their use!). Certainly NT and MC won't provide a virtual dealer and more so because they have a reputation to maintain. If slippage or execution delays would happen through them it would ruin the software's image.
Anyway, the regulators are attacking market makers bucketshops, fine : why not some of the tools which are permitting and encouraging the frauds ? That would be an idea to suggest. Half irony here !
They could definitely publish warning signs on a shortlist of blacklisted tools that have proven to fool customers historically. MT4 would have a special seat on this podium. Search for MetaTrader scam" on Google, as opposed to "NT/MC/SC scam".
That said, I definitely know that the combo Darwinex-LMAX-MT4 is one of the most honest MT4 setup there is, client side.
Yet, MetaQuotes' records could be too a reason enough to boycott them once and for all, especially since at Darwinex you carry a message of integrity which I know you are sincere about.
I will sum it up into the fact MT4 is one of the worst choice in the whole industry to rely on only. Which is a big contrast ATM with Darwinex which I really do consider a top notch company, if not with the best potential. Heck, the best.
More to the point now, about the perspectives
I am ready to wait forever that Darwinex evolves. Because I see continuous and amazing efforts that I am really fond of.
Therefore, I will wait for the trading API but I want to add these points upfront, because they are important and I consider myself with some experience in the field for having I 1) encouraged, bought, tested (some for MT4, total crap !) many bridges between brokers and platforms 2) co-worked the trading platform TakaScalper for IG and a NinjaTrader bridge for LMAX back then with their technical team
Some facts : it will take you some time to release the trading API, but afterwards it will also take a little time to convince third party projects to pop up.
The first thing I noticed when talking to software vendors is that they ask : "are you guys big enough so that commercially we bother working with you ?" In other words, are you FXCM, are you IG, Interactive Brokers ? An example, SierraChart is refusing to work something around Collective2 for lack of popularity (blink). Another example, it took me 2 full years of repeated trials to convince a developper to build a bridge between NinjaTrader and IG, because he still was not seeing the point (don't kid, he was only half right). It got released yesterday
So now I know, I will need to be very patient to ever trade at Darwinex with anything API related because efforts need to add up...hence why in the first place, I really wanted you to consider a simple LMAX Pro regular gateway because all the connectivities with platforms are done and fully working ! It would have saved some hassle right away. Although...an API will be amazing to have, in the end.
Last, there are some software companies who now have high technological requirements (because they encountered many issues otherwise) and will NOT consider to work anymore with any API which runs on sub-standard protocols.
For instance, SierraChart only works either with their own protocol which they created to "level up" the industry practices, and that maybe you could use also...
...or with the FIX protocol, nothing else in between
Finally, the price cost of the APIs need to cover the whole range of your audience... this is really important that you bother. The APIs do not have to target only a niche of users.
LMAX has a costly FIX API but also a very affordable one at $30 / month using C# which is about reliable nonetheless
Conclusion : take your time, will wait endlessly. But please please please avoid mistakes : deploy either one or two segmented APIs and one of them needs to be affordable (less than $100 /month). Afterwards it is a must that one of them complies with FIX (or DTC), otherwise, it will be difficult to get neat third party developpements going on before I am old and crancky.
You got it, disappointment is the only thing I really fear. Bet it, that's actually your fault for imagining stuff at a high level of swag
PS: I heart you and do care