The FinanceFeeds Podcast has returned for its 15th episode with our Editor-in-Chief Nikolai Isayev hosting Anton Sokolov, Marketing Manager of Brokeree Solutions for a talk about MetaTrader, gamification of trading, and Finland.
Anton Sokolov has been with Brokeree Solutions for nearly five years in charge of marketing and representing the high-grade technology provider for MetaTrader 4 and 5 brokers at FX and CFD industry events across the globe.
As for events, the return to normalcy post-pandemic might have been above Sokolov’s expectations, who planned to attend to six events in 2022 and ended up participating in 12 or 13. On that note, he lauded Ultimate Fintech’s conferences and has high expectations for the upcoming iFX EXPO Dubai 2023.
Dubai has become a center of attention within the financial services and fintech industries now more than ever. Sokolov pointed to the jurisdiction’s regulatory approach as key to its popularity, with several brokers successfully applying and securing new licenses. “The market is developing quite rapidly in that region”, he added, as he plans to attend two other events in Dubai besides the iFX EXPO.
Only switch to a new system when absolutely necessary
In its 9th year of existence, Brokeree Solutions offers turnkey solutions for MetaTrader brokers, including its flagship MT4/MT5 Liquidity Bridge, the MT4/MT5 PAMM, and MT4/MT5 Social Trading. The firm also covers server migration, MetaTrader maintenance, setups, development, and consultation.
Passionate about technology and management, Anton Sokolov fits in Brokeree like a glove. “I have an unstoppable passion for optimization of business processes and truly believe that, by harnessing the power of project management tools, companies can achieve effectiveness and efficiency for activities of any scope and sizes”, he said. “By being an adept of new technology, I never underestimate the benefits of traditionally accepted methods. Thus, I seek to optimize the performance when needed and switch to a new system when absolutely necessary. Such an approach allows me to be economical in my judgment and productive in execution.”
This approach to technology becomes ever more critical at a time where the FX industry is still trying to understand the significance of the removal of MetaQuotes products from the Apple Store. The move came as a shock for the whole ecosystem, including brokers and technology vendors such as Brokeree.
MetaTrader at a crossroads
“I think the ban itself came out of nowhere”, Sokolov said, adding that MetaQuotes has confirmed they are in talks with Apple Store to restore its products. While agreeing there were reasons behind Apple’s decision, “the suspension was not well thought through”, he continued.
MetaQuotes’ trading platforms, MT4 and MT5 are the industry leaders by a long shot: “I think they have 70% of market share in terms of trading apps”. The suspension, however, only affect users who didn’t already have downloaded the apps by the time Apple Store removed them.
To counter Apple’s suspension, MetaQuotes has recently announced it made the MetaTrader 5 Web Terminal responsive to iOS phones. While an improvement, the Brokeree executive clarified that a mobile app is still badly needed.
MetaQuotes needs to bring iOS apps back to Apple Store
“From a user standpoint, some processes are better to do through an app. For example, when I’m flying I’d prefer to have an app. I trust it will be more secure and it has more features, such as push notifications. The web browser does not provide that”, he explained, as he reiterated there is more convenience, speed and easier access through the app than via web, where “we tend to work within the restraints of the browser itself […] So many things that might go wrong…”
As for brokers who choose to develop mobile apps natively, Anton Sokolov says that apps must support at least two, Android and iOS. The thing with Android apps is that they need to be tested in many different devices.
While Apple Store policies are strict, Sokolov believes the suspension will be lifted as MetaQuotes will “somehow find a solution to bring it back”.
MT4 will remain popular among older dealing desks
The debate over MetaTrader 4 versus MetaTrader 5 continues after all these years. It truly is a pertinent question. “Why is MT4 still so popular when we already have MT5, which actually supports multi asset trading?”
The answer is that MT4 has been widely adopted by the FX industry since online trading came about. Transitioning to MT5 is not easy as it seems, especially for dealing desks with legacy systems, different processes, and nuances. It all comes down to the capabilities and limitations of backoffices and risk management. That’s the big headache and that’s why mt4 will remain the larger player for a while, he explained.
Anton Sokolov is positive that, despite the current iOS issue, MetaTrader will remain the undisputed leader among trading platforms. One of the reasons is the server side APIs, which allows a high degree of flexibility for brokers.
Concerns about gamification of trading
The talk then moved to gamification of trading. Fan of academic research and the math behind it, Sokolov showed interest in the UK FCA statement at FMLS 2022. “When I read the statement, it seemed they wanted to ban everything. Once I started reading the research, the examples were quite alarming.”
Gamified trading apps include features such as notifications of celebratory achievements, giving false affirmation which boosts up confidence of traders. Younger traders, without prior experience and education, already tend to be quite confident. Gamification only worsens the issue, he explained, pointing to a study found that users of gamified experience would delay their exits, increasing their risks. “Traders overconfident of their trading abilities, I see that as quite alarming.”
“Gamification, in my understanding, is a very powerful tool. It is a great tool when used properly”, he said, pointing to education as an excellent use of gamification features, including gamified demo accounts that reward users’ efforts to improve and upgrade to the next tier and, in time, develop their abilities. “I’d like to see more brands doing that.”
Finland, saunas, and nature
Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, Anton Sokolov always knew he would stay in the business side of things despite having studied oil refining and gas processing. Two bachelors of Business Administration and two business ventures later, he joined Brokeree Solutions.
Sokolov lives in Finland and still gets excited when it snows. He is also an avid user of saunas, a substantial part of Finnish and Estonian culture – inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Lists.
Finland has saunas everywhere, he said. Some have them in their apartments, others in their buildings. If that’s not the case, they can still access the public sauna, where people tend to go on Saturdays as a family occasion, much like swimming pools that get “insanely hot”.
Anton Sokolov follows the Scandinavian culture of outdoors activities, in close contact with nature. He lives near a lake and the wild, where he can see animals, such as foxes, running around. “Very nice thing to have when you work in finance, when people expect skyscrapers. I do enjoy being close to nature.”
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