What is High Frequency Forex Trading?

High-Frequency Trading (HFT) is a form of automated investment where trading algorithms are used based on predefined indicators and trends. It is frequently utilized by large investment banks and market participants that want to combine high order volumes with quick executions.

This article will explain High-Frequency Trading and ‘is High Frequency Forex legit’ or not. We will also describe the strategies used by High-Frequency traders, as well as the infrastructure needed to get started. Let’s get right into the article.

What Is High Frequency Forex Trading?

High-Frequency Trading, abbreviated HFT, is a type of trading in which enormous numbers of orders are executed in fractions of a second using sophisticated computer systems. It analyzes several marketplaces and executes orders in real-time based on market circumstances. Traders with faster execution rates are often more lucrative than those with slower execution speeds In line with the high performance of orders, HFT is defined by high profitability levels and standards of trading structure.

HFT Forex businesses use a variety of tactics to trade and earn money. Arbitrage methods include index arbitrage, volatility arbitrage, statistical arbitrage, and merger arbitrage as well as global macro, long/short equity, and passive market making.

What Is High Frequency Trading in Forex

High Frequency Forex Trading Strategy


Arbitrage is the practice of earning a difference in the price of an asset in every few markets. For example, a trader can see the depreciation of the Euro on the London Stock Exchange and buy a large number. At the same time, they would sell Euros on the New York Stock Exchange, where they would earn a profit on exchange rates.

Arbitrage is not a new concept; centuries ago, carriages drawn by horses were raced between Philadelphia and New York, using the same opportunities to make a profit on commodities. However, it has recently gained popularity and has grown to make more profit due to technological advances.

Market Development

The market building is a commonly used strategy that is often implemented by major retailers and organizations. This High Frequency Forex trading strategy involves increasing market capitalization by placing large amounts of bids and questioning in the same market, assisting traders in obtaining quotations for the same prices, and making a profit on asset spreads.


Pinging is a strategy to get big orders issued by large companies and hedge funds. By placing a few small orders within a bid stream, the algorithm seeks different orders. If these orders are met, there is a good chance that there is a large, confidential order, and the algorithm may trade with minimal risk, as it has a better market understanding.

Algorithm Types

All algorithms are not equally made. Many algorithms can be employed for various sorts of trading. Typically, algorithmic trading falls into four categories:

  • Statistical: These algorithms forecast lucrative trades based on a statistical analysis of past data.
  • Auto-Hedging: These algorithms mitigate risk exposure automatically.
  • Strategies for Execution: This is a wide category that encompasses algorithms that have been developed to do a certain purpose. This might mean minimizing market effect, expediting transaction execution, or whatever the programmer specifies.
  • Market Access Direct: These algorithms enable traders to access different trading platforms more quickly and affordably.

High Frequency Forex Trading can make use of any or all of these algorithms to execute transactions exceptionally rapidly and efficiently on a high number of deals. This is basically a subset of algorithmic trading: while all High Frequency Forex Trading is algorithmic, not all algorithmic trading is algorithmic.

Enhancing Market Inefficiencies via High-Frequency Trading

While markets have matured, the Forex market can still be inefficient, particularly during periods of high volatility. Due to the quick changes in market trends, several exchanges internationally are unable to catch price movements, creating arbitrage possibilities. While some believe that arbitrage exists solely for the sake of profit, this strategy also contributes to market equilibration.

Arbitrage alerts markets to the presence of pricing differences. Once the deal is launched and an influx of currency buyers or sellers occurs in an exchange, a price gap may ensue. This causes exchanges to become aware of the mispricing and, in response, it corrected the market price, restoring market efficiency.

With the advancement of technology and digital forums, markets have seen an increase in High Frequency Forex Trading. This strategy makes trades for you automatically with the use of innovative technology and specialized algorithms. Due to the rapid emergence and filling of new arbitrage opportunities, automation significantly aids in the execution of arbitrage trading at a high rate of speed.

High Frequency Trading Forex contributes to the process of price discovery by imprisoning information in prices and reducing pricing mistakes. Leveraging pricing differentials benefit the market as a whole.

High Frequency Forex Trading: Pros and Cons

The argument over whether High Frequency Trading Forex is beneficial or detrimental to the markets has raged for years, fuelled by scandals involving corporations including UBS, Goldman Sachs, and Robinhood. Continue reading to know whether High Frequency Forex Trading is legit.


Numerous proponents of High-Frequency Trading assert that it can improve market liquidity and stability. Numerous HFTs’ rapid market-making methods can increase market liquidity, allowing normal traders to locate matching orders and transfer their money more quickly. This results in an increase in the efficiency of price discovery, which in turn reduces spreads and perhaps eliminates arbitrage possibilities. Additionally, rather than attempting to outwit the ultra-fast robots, traders might gain from different tactics.


However, others think that High-Frequency Trading is detrimental to the market since it unfairly encourages individuals lacking the funds and geographic location to play in the same game. Additionally, because of its fast responsiveness to changes, it can amplify market volatility and make the market more susceptible to flash collapses. This can occur when the algorithmic nature and ultra-fast speeds result in a huge sell-off, resulting in market disruption.

How to Trade High Frequency Forex?

Two types of traders dominate High Frequency Forex Trading: huge organizations with substantial money and small teams of specialists using sophisticated software tools. There are, however, ways for retail investors and small businesses to generate revenue through the High Frequency Trading strategy.

To begin, some firms have started to democratize High-Frequency Trading, making it more accessible to novice traders and small investors. Alpha Trading Labs, a US-based company, allows ordinary traders to access their High-Frequency Trading systems and computers in exchange for a commission.

High-Frequency Trading Risks

High-Frequency Trading continues to be a contentious activity, with little agreement among regulators, financial experts, and academics.

High-frequency traders seldom keep their portfolios overnight, amass little amounts of cash, and retain positions for a brief period of time before selling.

The risk/reward rate is much higher than for a traditional investor following a long-term strategy. A high-frequency trader may benefit by as little as a fraction of a penny, which is sufficient to earn profits throughout the day but also raises the likelihood of suffering a substantial loss.

One significant complaint leveled by HFT is that it results in the creation of “phantom liquidity” in the market. HFT critics argue that the liquidity generated is not “genuine” because the securities are held for only a few seconds. Before a retail investor may purchase security, High-Frequency traders have already traded it numerous times. By the time a retail investor placed an order, HFT’s tremendous liquidity has essentially evaporated.

Additionally, it is believed that high-frequency traders (big financial institutions) profit frequently at the expense of smaller market participants (smaller financial institutions, individual investors).

Finally, HFT Forex has been associated with an increase in market volatility and, in certain cases, market collapses. Regulators have arrested a number of high-frequency traders for illicit market operations such as spoofing and layering.


While the consequences of High-Frequency Trading is unknown and rarely discussed, there are clearly some unambiguous benefits. Without a question, the approach brought in new realities for traders, markets, and regulators, promising substantial profits to those willing and able to make massive investments. And, perhaps most intriguingly, ordinary investors are progressively gaining access to High-Frequency Trading via software packages and commission-based services.

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About the author

Seasoned forex trader John Henry teaches new traders key concepts like divergence, mean reversion, and price action for free, sharing over a decade of market experience and analysis expertise in a clear, practical style.