On the 24th of September, the trading community was caught unprepared with some shocking news – Apple has removed MT4 and MT5 apps from their App Store. The removal is global, hitting all iPhone and iPad users.
MT4 and its successor, MT5, are owned by MetaQuotes Ltd, a fintech company officially registered in Limassol, Cyprus. The first version of the software was released in 2004, while MT5 was made publicly accessible in 2009. These platforms hold over 50% of the market share among online Forex and CFD trading providers.
With MT4 being the most popular trading software among retail investors, according to research conducted in 2019, and the widespread popularity of MT5, it’s quite concerning that Apple has made such a move.
Let’s see the possible reasons for this action and possible outcomes.
While neither Apple nor MetaQuotes have issued official statements, there have been several speculations about the matter.
Firstly, some believe this is the answer to Western sanctions on Russia. While the company is officially registered in Cyprus, it’s said to originate from Russia, with CEO Renat Fatkhullin being a Russian citizen. However, Android users still have access, so if it was a part of political plots, it hit only a certain audience – Apple users.
According to some, Apple has banned the app after numerous complaints have been filed. Scam brokers often use MT4 or MT5 as part of their offer, defrauding customers.
If you’re lured into investing through a popular trading app that is said to have enabled millions of people to profit from trading, you’d be less hesitant to join, right? Complaints refer to both the app and the way this app has been abused.
Additionally, scammers have used certain third-party plug-ins to manipulate market prices. Once you register with an unregulated broker, they’d ask you to install the MetaTrader version containing some add-ons.
These add-ons would then enable the broker to change market prices and make it seem like you’ve won or lost significant amounts of money, depending on their needs and the story they’re trying to sell.
Once such is Virtual Dealer, allowing scammers to simulate market conditions and show false gains or losses. An unsuspecting victim would see enormous profits and feel better about investing a larger amount of money.
This all would comply with rumors that the app has been banned due to violations of App Store policies and guidelines. According to the Global Anti-Scam Organization, online trading scams involving MetaTrader cost Americans more than a billion dollars in 2021.
The software itself has very few policies preventing scams, which led to purchasing the license in two ways – as a real label and a white label. The real label license implies that the license was obtained directly from MetaQuotes.
However, those purchasing white label licenses simply rent them from companies with real label authorization to MetaTrader. Once purchased, the MetaTrader is branded with the broker’s logo, showing customers that their preferred trading firm has reputable software on offer. The main issue here is that white label licenses are hard to track, and those rules set by MetaQuotes Ltd do not apply. With certain monthly fees, scammers can “rent” MT4/MT5 white label licenses for as low as $500.
Those Apple users that have MetaTrader already installed can still use it. However, they won’t be able to receive any new updates and upgrades. Additionally, if they delete the platform, switch the device or similar, they won’t be able to reinstall the app. On the other hand, new users are completely prevented from downloading the software.
This has led to another type of scam. Certain opportunists have abused the circumstances and started selling preloaded versions of MT4 and MT5 via social media for over $5,000. The risk here is evident. You may never receive the platform or be provided with an inactive link/file.
On the other side, MetaTrader’s competitors have already started advertising their platform as a great alternative to MT4/MT5. While some of them are genuine trading software providers, others are vicious fraudsters. Any trading firm can now create proprietary software and offer it to clients instead of MetaTrader. By using an unverified trading tool, you risk not only your funds but also being hacked.
According to the latest news, major regulated US trading firms stopped offering MT4/MT5 to their investors.
If the ban shows to be in the long run, you can use some acclaimed alternatives to MetaTrader, such as cTrader, or TradingView.
If any broker offers you their trading platform as an alternative, ensure to check the platform and read the comments. Sometimes, reviews are all you need to stay safe.
If possible, use a web version of MetaTrader; it’s still available on all devices. You can log in to your account through any web browser and keep using the platform as before. We’re unsure how long this opportunity will be available, but it’s safer than other options as long as it is.
Finally, don’t fall for social media stories. Even though there is a slight possibility that you’ll purchase a preloaded platform version, it’s more likely that you’ll be a fraud victim. Seemingly, most of these so-called “problem solvers” ask for payment in advance made via crypto, so it’s clear from the very start that their intentions are not genuine.
While MetaTrader itself is a safe trading platform, numerous scammers have crushed its reputation. By purchasing a white-label license, anyone can get ahold of the software and offer it to clients. It’s unsure whether the Apple ban will remain and for how long, but we advise you to check the aforementioned alternatives.
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