Is MT4 on its Way Out?
The MetaTrader 4 or MT4 for short is the globally renowned trading platform developed by MetaQuotes Software. Featuring hundreds of custom indicators, a user marketplace and a vast collection of other useful tools, the MT4 is the industry’s tried and tested one-stop shop for trading since 2005. So much so that even though MetaQuotes released MT4’s successor, five years later, traders were and still are highly reluctant to move to the new and improved experience offered by the MT5 platform.
However, MetaQuotes has been trying to push both traders and brokers to the new platform for some time now, claiming that MT4 has become outdated. Since MT4 was developed more than 15 years ago, the technology is bound to have a lot of limitations and likely a cause for many a headache for its developers. Though when it was abruptly announced that MetaQuotes will discontinue the sales and development of the MT4 platform, the industry was taken aback. New licenses will not be issued to brokers, but existing clients can continue to offer the MT4 app to their traders. MetaQuotes also stated that it will also be providing updates and support for the foreseeable future.
The MT4 Ecosystem
Surpassing even MetaQuotes wildest expectations, MetaTrader 4 managed to provide an unparalleled trading experience. This didn’t happen because of the ingenuity of the MetaQuotes developers, however. The reason behind MT4’s success as a trading platform is due to the incredible value created by the collective effort of thousands of traders, utilizing the platform’s tech to forge the most robust ecosystem of tools the industry has ever seen. Millions of traders around the world have been using the platform and its built-in programming language, the MQL4, to create millions of indicators and Expert Advisors to improve their trading strategy. The marketplace available on MT4 is a thriving community of traders where all these customized programs and scripts are bought and sold.
Unlike more modern and maybe less feature-full trading platforms, the MT4 is available for free. You can download it directly from the MetaQuotes website or from your broker. Regardless if you own a Mac or iPhone/iPad, Windows PC or Android phone and tablet – the MT4 app is available on all those devices and more through the WebTrader version that gives you access to the platform through any device with a web browser.
The MetaTrader trading platform is the best tool for the job regardless if you are a rookie in the markets or a professional trader. Charting capability is solid, as well as deep customization which makes the integration of every strategy seamless. You can clean the chart of all clutter and go with naked trading based on price action, focusing only on support and resistance lines in 9 different timeframes. On the other hand, you can also download and implement hundreds of technical indicators and even Expert Advisors that can provide notifications on price swings, automated trading and pretty much anything else you can imagine.
Social trading is also easily accessible through MetaTrader 4. There’s a Signals tab dedicated to forex signals that you can subscribe for a fee or sometimes at no cost at all. You can find even more Signals services in the MT4 marketplace that is built-in to the platform.
The Strategy tester is another valuable tool for every trader that is available within the MT4 platform. If you got an EA to trade automatically, you can test its efficiency and accuracy by testing it on historical data as far back as you would like.
MetaTrader 4 might be outdated but it’s far from obsolete. In the last 10 years, it has evolved from a traditional trading platform to a powerful tool that is now an integral part of every trader’s trading arsenal. Convincing users to switch to an alternative and rebuilt a legacy of more than a decade in the making is a tall order indeed.
MT5 hasn’t reached the point of critical mass yet and MetaQuotes is having a hard time getting traders and brokers to move from MT4. A multitude of third-party services was also built to provide even more add-ons and plugins to the platform and MetaQuotes decision of dropping MT4 so unexpectedly without discussion with the community or its clients and partners has been heavily criticized. The trading platform is now ingrained so deeply in the fabric of the industry that no alternative can easily take its place. Especially if there is no way for the existing tools to be migrated to the new platform.
MetaTrader 4 truly withstood the test of time but with its imminent discontinuation, the industry could find itself on a turning point. Now we will just have to wait and see how it will recover. Further fragmentation into different trading platforms developed in-house is possible but the community could consolidate behind a new alternative. Things don’t seem too good for MT5 or any other platform from MetaQuotes however since the company did burn a lot of bridges with its decision and will have to work hard to restore that broken trust.