An Open Letter To Metaquotes: Why 2013 is the last year I plan to use your software.

The Metatrader 4 platform has been a great source of experimentation, a great tool with which I wouldn’t have been able to achieve the current understanding I have about automated trading. This brilliant platform opened up forex algorithmic trading to the “little guy” and made even “average Joe/Jane” able to run complex (or very simple) automated trading systems from his/her own garage. I have to say dear Metaquotes, you got it right when you developed Metatrader 4, but the success you had went to your head and you have made so many bad decisions during the past few years – at least in my opinion – that I am now saying that I will be leaving you for good because you are no longer the type of company I would like to rely on or work with in my trading. Through this letter I would like to explain the reasons why me – along with many other trades – feel this way about you and why we desire to part ways with your software and most importantly, with your draconian development policies.

I have known your company for a long time. I first traded on your Metatrader 3 platform on IBFX (back in the day!) and I really enjoyed it when you released the MT4 platform. Things were really looking good at this point, I remember article publications about MT4 on your website were common and user suggestions were often implemented within your code.  Then things started to go south, for me this was evident as soon as the development of the MT5 platform started. With this platform you took many wrong decisions and you made the incredibly bold choice to completely ignore the suggestions made to you by traders. I understand that traders are not your clients – brokers are – but no broker will want to purchase your platform if no traders want to use it. The reason why you were so successful with MT4 is because it catered to a real need in the market place (automated trading for the little guy) but you have completely neglected retail traders with your MT5 implementation.

arrogance

There are many problems with MT5, a lack of support for MT4 legacy code (which is a huge repository), a lack of a history center (so no loading of custom data), lack of hedging support, etc. It is also evident that all these choices are capricious decisions made by you, just because you want things to be “your way or the highway”. Metatrader 5 could have been a great new platform that addressed the problems and limitations of the MT4 platform but – on the contrary – it implemented many good ideas that are simply unusable due to bad decisions made by you. How are people going to take advantage of an improved back-tester if you cannot even load your own data? Why should people port all of their code when it is so easy to make an internal translator to work with MQL4 legacy code? These design choices are poor, clearly neglect your ultimate customer (which is indeed the trader) and show how blind-sighted you have become after achieving such success with MT4.

But let me say that this is not the reason why I am moving away from you, it’s not. The main reason why I am going to put all my effort into moving away from Metaquotes and MT4/5 is the draconian attitude that you have now taken towards your users. It seems that you have now decided that users should always update without any warning (which is a bad thing since your updates often break old functionality) and you have also made the decision to include code within your servers that can limit user access to them. This was a huge problem for many people this week, with several traders unable to access their MT4 accounts through their VPS. You made this decision to block Mt4i, myfxbook, tradency, etc from accessing your servers, something you have done because you are now selling signals within the MT4 platform (surprise, surprise, it’s all about the money). By being able to impose draconian server updates on brokers that allow you to “eliminate” the competition for any services you imagine you put traders at great peril. Perhaps tomorrow you’ll decide that you will be selling expert advisors and you will not allow us to load any of our own? With your company, nobody knows.

With Metatrader I don’t feel like a professional trader. I feel like a trapped mouse. I don’t know when you’ll come and smite my trading with some hilarious, unplanned, improvised and thoughtless code changing decision that breaks some functionality that is fundamental for my algorithmic trading. The truth is that you are not a company for serious, professional traders who want to make a living from this field. You are a company that does whatever it likes, whenever it likes and traders are only an afterthought. You are able to pull this off because there is no direct competition for the Metatrader platform right now but I am sure there will be and I am sure that whoever develops a server and trading platform that listens to what traders want will have your head on a silver platter. Wake up Metaquotes, you could be such a great company, developing software for traders, listening to their needs and catering to their success. Implement all the features you can that traders request and for god’s sake, make a decent server API available so that anyone can connect to servers using custom software. But hey, only do this if you want to be considered a serious choice for professional traders.

As for me and my trading community, I will put my heart into moving away from your platform for live trading (we have already developed far superior solutions for back-testing). Oanda is coming up with a great REST API (that allows to trade with almost infinite lot size granularity) and I am already developing an interface to use our programming framework with them. But trust me, even if Oanda doesn’t release this API before the year ends (as they have promised on their forum) I will be moving anyway to FXCM or to Dukascopy (even avaFX has an attractive direct API). Trust me, I am going to develop at least 3 API solutions outside of your platform, so that I can forever say goodbye to this nightmare that the MT4 platform is becoming. I consider myself a professional trader and I cannot continue to trade with your tools which are evidently not made for someone who is serious about the trading business. I hope you reflect upon this and realise that you should change. Take this as a constructive criticism.

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44 Responses to “An Open Letter To Metaquotes: Why 2013 is the last year I plan to use your software.”

  1. Phred Otaku says:

    Absolutely brilliant letter. You have pretty much captured my complaints. These people have scared me away from their product. Thanks for voicing our objections.

  2. james bond says:

    i 100 % agree with you on that .MQ4 is out of order . i think we should all go to forex.com

  3. Sandy says:

    Quoted from the letter:
    “and you have also made the decision to include code within your servers that can limit user access to them.”

    Sorry guys, I’ve been out of loop. I’d like to know what happening with MT4. I’m not fully understand quoted above… the code? What sort of code is included on MQ servers?

    Anyway…I’m trading using my own developed EAs on MT4 on private VPS, and all work fine so far. I’m not planning upgrade to MT5 due OCO policy built within MT5 platform.

    I’d appreciate if anyone can explain me in detail quoted above, because it’s not clear to me.
    cheers,
    Sandy

    • admin says:

      Hi Sandy,

      Thank you for your post :o) This refers to a decision made by Metaquotes to include code in their servers that arbitrarily limits the number of connections from a single IP address to a relatively low number (obviously this is speculation because we don’t know the actual code implementation). However the consequence is that sites such as myfxbook, mt4i, tradency, etc can no longer update accounts directly via API access to the MT4 servers. Some people running VPS setups also experienced problems, possibly because they are running large setups (however I cannot confirm this).

      This decision affected a lot of people using the above third party services and was made arbitrarily by Metaquotes to boost their own in-platform signal service. Most importantly it affected people running their own setups on their own VPS, something completely unacceptable. Metaquotes has a tendency to roll out updates without any testing or warning that seriously affect the way in which people use their platforms. I hope this answers your questions :o)

      Best Regards,

      Daniel

  4. furynick says:

    great letter, everyone concerned should leave a reply and post on http://forum.mql4.com/55860

  5. petays says:

    Great letter that express my feelings to the point!

    One more emerging(?) platform is cTrader/cAlgo for Windows .NET.

  6. Franco says:

    Finally, wondered when this is going to happen :) Nice move Daniel

  7. Mike McBain says:

    Although only a relatively new professional trader I was affected by the forced upgrade to 500 and have also made the decision to either develop my own trading platform or find an alternative to this Metaquotes program.

    Mike.

  8. Sebastiano Pilla says:

    Couldn’t agree more, I don’t know who is making those nonsensical decisions at Metaquotes but I guess that sooner or later they will be out of their job.

    And thank you very much for pointing out the alternatives, coding for MT4 is very frustrating if one is accustomed to mature IDEs and deploying tools.

  9. Mun says:

    As much as I like the letter and the points it raises, MetaQuotes are not going to sit and reflect on these points. The professional algorithmic traders like us that are concerned enough about MetaQuotes’ attitude and recent changes from a long term risk to our future profitability point of view would probably make up 0.01% of the forex trades using MT4. We have outgrown MT4. We need a more professional solution and it is us that need to move.

  10. Radioman says:

    Daniel, thank you for this open letter. I 100% second that.

    Greetings from Hamburg/Germany,
    Dietmar (trading @ Dukascopy now, without Metaquote Crapware)

  11. Scalptastic says:

    ** Metaqoutes you are CRAP ***

  12. reptile says:

    I started time ago action TipTop where we want normal API on FX
    http://forex-nawigator.biz/forum/wszystko-ma-byc-tiptop-t22347.html

    http://www.mql4.com/search#!keyword=new%20build
    We have still bugs on mt4 and now we don’t have nay control on this software after autoupdate..
    This is some matrix procedure. Maybe we need no trading month on MT4 from may?

    This is enought.. anserwer is simple.. YOU LOOSING TIME AND MONEY COZ YOU USING MT4/5 SOFTWARE FROM mq.
    Thats all.

  13. NoMoreMT4 says:

    While I agree with all of Daniel’s points, I think he has only scratched the surface of why MT4 and Metaquotes are dangerous to your account.

    * MT4 is designed for crooked brokers to steal your money. There are many facilities that enable and encourage this.

    * As a result, too many brokers are dishonest and make their money by taking it from their customers. Start trading profitably and they will use MT4 features to delay or deny your fills, spike prices to hit your stops, etc.

    * MT4’s backtester is a bad joke. It makes worthless strategies look profitable, and many newbs have risked and lost money based on glowing backtest results that turned out to be utterly false.

    * MQL’s execution model is insane. EA’s aren’t too bad, but the indicator model is braindead. I’ve coded in many platforms and MQL is the worst, most difficult, most error-prone I’ve ever seen.

    * MQL indicators repaint unless you’re EXTREMELY careful. This is another way that MT4 supports dishonest vendors who sell newbs something that looks like a goldmine, but they find out it doesn’t work in realtime.

    There are more reasons, but the message is clear. Metaquotes does not have your best interests in mind. Find another platform if you value your sanity and your account balance.

  14. Thank you so much for writing this! I was too busy this week to write a letter of my own, due to the need to troubleshoot or work around all sorts of problems caused by this last MT4 update…

    Now I’ll just go ahead and post a link to your site, since your comments echo my sentiment so well, it’s as if I wrote every paragraph (although, I have to say, you seem to have better writing skills ;))

    Happy trading!

  15. Rodney says:

    Nice one Daniel, Birt from Birt’s EA review must feel the same way, see:
    http://eareview.net/rant/new-beginnings

    With the above article linking to an open source platform:
    http://tradable.com/

    Cheers
    Rodney

  16. Symbios says:

    You might want to look into interactive brokers. They support forex trading with APIs and there was a survey that says its easier to earn money from them compared to other brokers. I also happen to know a particular forex trading fund whose boss specifically says that IB is a must in forex trading. Spread is usually 1pip but they charge a 0.25 pip commission I think.

  17. Jacob says:

    Good points in your letter there, Daniel!
    Quite a few API alternatives seem to exist – a quick search revealed names such as saxobank, interactivebrokers, lmax, dukascopy, mbtrading, forex.com, fxcm and so on ,so it is a logical step up from the “regime” of metaquotes if one wants to be serious in trading.
    Also found this blog article about the topic of API trading – a bit dated but interesting enough:
    http://www.quantisan.com/index27.html

    Best regards
    Jacob.

  18. Jacob says:

    (scroll down to the bottom where is the headline “Comparing Trading API from 6 Online Forex Brokerages”
    looks like oanda is indeed the one with the least capital requirements.

  19. Edward says:

    Hi Daniel,

    Thanks for this great revelation. Could you elaborate more about the MT4/MT5 alternatives for the typical forex trader with an account <$10000? It seems that in order to have access to an API, the required account size it typically very large (except for the avaFX API which requires $1000).

    Kind regards,
    Edward

  20. Konrad says:

    myfxbook.com should publish that letter on the front page.

    Ladies and Gentelmens – its time to change a platform and kick MetaQuotes in the ass…

  21. Birt says:

    The letter sums up many of the things that went wrong with Metaquotes during the past few years, but I must say this scenario is not entirely new. As of late, as soon as Metaquotes creates a product that has competition, they start doing everything possible to kill that competition. Last year they created mobile apps of their own and guess what, they went for the jugular of the mobile app vendors. These companies had been adding value to the Metaquotes product offering for a substantial time and in all likelihood had a significant impact on the total userbase, but as soon as Metaquotes began selling a product that covered that functionality (yeah, brokers have to pay extra for that), they decided the other vendors had outlived their usefulness and the competition must be eliminated. It’s exactly what’s happening now with the signal providers: Metaquotes sees that there’s a buck to be made with the signals and figures that there’s no need to let other companies have a share of that market.

    In any case, in all likelihood you will never see them open the server protocol because they would never risk competition. Although MT4 was nice back when it was released, nowadays it is quite outdated and if the server protocol would be open, someone would probably make a better platform that connects to the same server software which is something that they seem to be desperately trying to avoid.

    Finally, as Rodney mentioned above, I am now involved with tradable but I have to correct him: it is an open platform, not an open source platform. That means that you don’t get the source code of the platform, but you get APIs that let you do pretty much anything you wish, you’re not limited to strategy implementation. For instance, if you wanted to you could write a charting framework of your own or perhaps a 1-click trading app. Feel free to send an email if you’re looking for alternative platforms that you’d like to develop for.

  22. Apollo says:

    Hi,

    I wanted to ask if you accept guest blogs on your blog? In case you do I would love to write one for your blog and in return you can write one on my blog as well.

    You can take a look at my blog here:

    http://www.thelastbear.com

    Let me know if you are interested.

    Regards,

    Apollo

    • admin says:

      Hi Apollo,

      Thank you for your post :o) I have never had guest writers but sure, I can consider it. Send me an email to dfernandezp (at) unal.edu.co and we can discuss this further,

      Best Regards,

      Daniel

  23. Ralf says:

    Hi Daniel,

    I like what you do and I thought about become member of Asirikuy.com soon.
    But after your artikel i am worried about the future of EA trading. Can you tell me what you palns are for the future.

    Best Regards

    Ralf

    • admin says:

      Hi Ralf,

      Thank you for your comment :o) Right now we are trading mainly via MT4 but we are developing solutions to move away from this platform after this year. This means that we will move all our trading to Oanda, Dukascopy and similar solutions. If you’re worried about the future of EA trading in MT4 then you can rest assured that in Asirikuy we will make sure we have solutions to continue our algorithmic trading on other, much more professional platforms. Bear in mind that systems coded in F4 are independent of MT4 so there is no need to recode systems to move outside of the MT4 platform, we simply plugin a new front-end and we’re done. I hope this answers your questions :o)

      Best Regards,

      Daniel

  24. Jon says:

    Some alternative platform suggestions:

    cTrader
    Tradable
    MultiCharts
    m4 (modulus) Admin may be particularly interested in this as you have complete access to the source code. Perhaps similar to how Multicharts made an “open” platform for Tradestation, you or someone savy could make a MultiT for Metatrader. http://www.modulusfe.com/m4/

  25. Dave says:

    Jon, CTrader was developed on top of pirated software from what I know.
    Tradable looks good but it’s backed by a brokerage. Still looks good.
    M4 from Modulus is good. It is expensive. Although they’re releasing a free version for retail traders soon.

  26. ComF says:

    I’m still waiting your promise for F4 framework to be release to non-asirikuy members. I don’t mind to pay.

    • admin says:

      Hi ComF,

      Thank you for your post :o) There are some parts of Asirikuy software – mainly some of our tools – that have/will be released to people outside Asirikuy. However F4 is not going to be released outside of our community. You can just get it by joining if you wish :o)

      Best Regards,

      Daniel

  27. Matthew says:

    ABSOLUTELY! When a decent platform alternative comes out, I’m gonna take it up. Just ensure we can convert or utilise our current EAs please.

    I have spent a great deal of time and accumulated a considerable EA library, so I do not wish to have to trash this only because I cannot use the codes.

  28. Chris says:

    Hi guys-

    You should take a look at TradeStation. They have the industry’s best database of historical data on Stocks, Futures and Forex plus an amazing array of trading tools that make MT4 look like Mickey Mouse. I made more money in 3 months using TradeStation then in 4 years of using MetaTrader. Only thing is I don’t know if they take customers outside the US.

    Check it out,

    Chris

    • Jon says:

      tradestation is proprietary to their brokerage. There used to be TradeStation 2000i that was standalone, but TS closed out to the outside world to focus exclusively on their own brokerage products for at least 7 years now.

      What you may be referring to is MultiCharts for the platform, which is broker-independent. You can still use TS datafeed if you have an account or api with TS. But otherwise, you can use numerous other datafeeds :)

  29. zolotivan says:

    I would like to ask for permission to translate into russian and repost this open letter on my blof http://fxidea.com ?

  30. Jon michel says:

    Guys,
    I urge you try vertexfx platform. Auto trading is brilliant, of 2 modes, client and server VTL sides, no need for VPS.. It is back word compatible most of the time. Clear development policy, informing traders before upgrades and perfect tech support. I use it long years back. I am sure all will like it. Discover it yourself. I Switched from MT4 to vertexfx at same comditions 2 years back and not planning to move away or back to MT4.

  31. Erik says:

    Hi Daniel,

    Your article is great and I am of your same opinion!
    Mt4 used to be a good platform but their management is doing the best to destroy what they achieved so far.

    I want to ask you if there is any reliable statistic regarding the overall turnover made on mt4 and other competitors such as ctrader, tradable, etc.
    Are retail traders leaving mt4 for other platforms, or the number of mt4 users is growing?

    Many thanks in advance!

    Erik

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