Automated Cryptocurrency & Foreign Exchange Trading

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Volatility charts - Foreign Exchange / User's Guide

1. Introduction

Foreign Exchange is a financial market composed of several categories including - currencies, metals, commodities, indexes, bonds.

It is composed of 4 exchanges located in - London, Sydney, Tokyo, and New York. While the exchanges work in daytime hours, the worldwide locations allow (almost) 24 hours of continuous trading. The ForEx markets close on Friday afternoon in New York time, and open Monday morning in Sydney time.

The complete market in all categories contains around 125 items. Usually a trader has few favorite items to monitor - for ex. USD_GBP (in currencies), XAU_USD (in metals), and OIL_USD (in commodities) and does not pay attention to any other items.

The standard trading screen provides a view of a single item, and the trader has to select another item to switch and view it.

The current program receives information from a real time data collection system, analyzes the information and selects the items with the highest volatility for a period of time.

Volatility - the frequent change from low to high can be considered either as a friend or as an enemy of the trader. Used in the right way volatility allows the trader to make the highest gains with the lowest leverage.

Discarding the volatility tool leaves the trader to items with small and or slow movements where significant gains can be achieved only with using high leverage.

2. Charts service -features

The ForEx Volatility charts are delivered by a program running on 3 desktop platforms - Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.

When started the program runs into 2 screens -
- text terminal - allows change of view and settings
- graphical charts - shows the movement through time of the highest volatility items


While the data collection system is capable of collecting information much faster the charts are composed of data points in 1 minute intervals.

The user has the choice of:
- selecting display in UTC time or local time
- selecting the top volatile items in an individual category (for ex. top in currencies), or the top one of all categories
- selecting the top - 3, 5, or 8 items
- selecting the time period displayed - last 6, 12, 24, or 48 hours
- saving of the current chart image to an image file

The charts allow interactivity and feedback in the form of mouse actions over the chart -
- left button click - shows the percentage / % (on vertical axis) and time / HR:MN (horizontal axis); when the button is released the mark will disappear
- left button click on the items in the legend area - removes items from display one by one
- left button double click, a mark with -> [number] [percentage] [time] will stay permanently on the chart; the [number] increases sequentially with every new new mark and allows referencing in the image
- left button drag (movement) allows scrolling left/right through time (horizontal axis)
- right button click - removes all marks and restores initial view of top items

3. Download, install and run

The ForEx Volatility charts have a demo (free) version and a standard (paid) version. The demo version uses a sample of real previous data recorded in the past. It is intended as a way of the user to get familiar and have hands-on experience.

The standard version continuously downloads and displays real time data. The user has to submit payment information when registering.

Both versions are available for download at these links -      fx-vol-chrtd - demo version      and      fx-vol-chrt - standard (live) version .

Each link points to a folder containing .zip files for each operating system platform -
- Windows - runs on Windows 7 and later
- Mac OS X - runs on OS X 10.11 and later
- Linux - Ubuntu 18.04 (or 2018 distro release) and later

After downloading please unzip to a folder on the computer.

On Windows platform there is no additional installation, just double click on -
fx-vol-chrt.exe or fx-vol-chrtd.exe (demo)

On Linux platform there is no additional installation, just double click on -
./ or ./ (demo)
Some distros may not recognize the file as executable. In such case please do a right mouse click over the file, select 'properties' and do a check mark on 'is executable'.
Or, open a 'terminal', change the folder and type for ex. -$ chmod +x
The shell script file for ex. - calls 'gnome-terminal'. If the Linux distro does not have it installed please install it or modify the shell script.

On Mac OS X platform there is minimal installation, where the user has to open 'terminal', change to the files folder and do -
$ chmod +x
$ sudo ./
Then, type -
./fx-vol-chrt or ./fx-vol-chrtd (demo)

4. Run - Log-in and use on the text screen

Before running the program the user has to - Register for the use.
At the online web registration the user puts their e-mail address , types a password, and obtains a 6 digit login token by e-mail.

When the program is run there are 2 screens opened - a text and a graphical screen. This chapter describes actions on the text screen.

text view - fx-vol-chrt

After starting the user has to type at the prompts their - e-mail address, password, and the login token. If the login token entered is not correct a new token is generated and sent by e-mail to the user.

There is a text menu where the user types a letter and pushes Enter.

To display top volatility in all or specific markets type a letter - 'a' - 'l' and push Enter:
a-markets-ALL, b-curnc-ALL, c-curnc-AUD, d-curnc-EUR, e-curnc-GBP, f-curnc-NZD, g-curnc-USD, h-metals-ALL, i-metals-XAU, j-indx-ALL, k-commod-ALL, l-bonds-ALL,
The charts graphical view is changed accordingly.

To change settings push 't' and Enter:
t-change settings,
A sub-menu comes where the user can change as follows:
select: 0-UTC/local, -->> time values on horizontal axis
select 1-time period, -->> 6, 12, 24, or 48 hours on horizontal axis
select 2-top number, -->> top 3, 5, or 8 items in a market
s-save -->> save settings and exit menu

To save chart as image file push 's' and Enter:
s-save chart,
The image is saved with a name composed of - [market]_[time period]_[time of save].bmp , like for ex. - markets-ALL_48h_20-02-10_23-37.bmp .

To close and exit file push 'q' and Enter:

5. Run - interactive use with the charts on the graphical screen

This chapter describes the graphical screen when the program runs.

graphical view - fx-vol-chrt

On the top of the graphical screen the screen title shows the settings of the current view. As the uses requests a different view, and/or a time period, then the title changes accordingly.

To reduce the clutter the user can do a left mouse button click on the items in the legend area - it removes items from display one by one. To restore initial view do a right mouse button click.

To find the percentage / % (on vertical axis) and time / HR:MN (horizontal axis);of a specific point on the chart do a left mouse button click and hold. When the button is released the mark disappears.

To mark specific points on the chart - do a left button double click. A mark with -> [number] [percentage] [time] will stay permanently on the chart. The [number] increases sequentially with every new new mark and allows referencing in the image.

The image included above shows 2 mark points on the blue line which shows NATGAS_USD (natural gas to US dollar) -
- point1 , y = 0.72% , x = 18:29
- point2 , y = 3.06% , x = 19:07
Considering these values the user can calculate the increase of 3.05-0.72= 2.24% , in the time span of 19.07-18.29= 38 minutes.

To scroll left (towards past) or right (towards present) through time (horizontal axis) - do a left mouse button click + hold + move (drag movement).
The text screen shows the size of the time movement in percentage related to time period (6/12/24/48hrs), for ex. -33% on 6 hours time period means the current graphical view shows the timing -
- from - current time - 6 hours - 2 hours (33%)
- to - current time - 2 hours (33%)

To remove all marks and restores initial view of top items - do a right mouse button click.


Data Reduction in Preparation for Lightweight Machine Learning: Applied in Foreign Exchange Trading.

Questions and answers

Q1. Why don't you use or put these charts on a browser?
A1. In our previous development we did generate charts as .html files. The files were large in size - up to 10 mbytes, took long time to load in a browser - up to 30seconds, and re-drawing when changing options was slow.
The current program allows instant initial display and re-drawing of the charts image.

Q2. Do you have versions running on phones and / or tablets?
A2. Desktop platforms usually have displays with high resolution. Viewing graphics on devices with small screen resolution will not be convenient for user. In addition mobile platforms like IOS or Android are restrictive in what a developer can do.
That's why we rely on working and use of major desktop platforms.

Q3. Where is the source code?
A3. This si not an open source project. We use open source libraries among which are - curl, openssl, sdl2. Since we do not modify their source a developer can download identical source as provided.
We are exploring the possibility to create an API set of the charts program for developers.

Q4. Is there a version of the volatility charts for crypto-currencies?
A4. After releasing the ForEx volatility charts we plan to release crypto-currencies and crypto-derivatives (futures,options,swaps) volatility charts.