Plato on retail Forex brokers – Guest Editorial

Paul Orford

Paul Orford offers a challenging and original interpretation of the famous Allegory of the Cave from Plato’s dialogue “The Republic”.

The following is a guest post by Paul Orford, Head of Institutional Sales at Inflyx.

Last Sunday while lying on the beach and watching my daughter splash around in the clear blue waters of the Mediterranean, I placed my headphones in my ears and turned on a podcast discussing Plato’s Allegory of the Cave (Yes, I can suck the fun out of any day!).

If you are not aware, Plato wrote a dialogue called “The Republic” in which he tells the story of a group of people who live imprisoned in a cave.

The day-to-day life of the inhabitants mirrored that of our university dwellings in that they had no access to natural light, with damp walls and fungal societies slowly usurping the house!

They knew nothing of the outside world; the only things being viewed by the inhabitants were the shadows of things thrown up on the wall by the light of a fire. The cave-dwellers were fascinated by the reflections and shadows of animals, flowers and people, not understanding that they were not real. For the cave’s inhabitants, this was the sole reality known.

They argued that if you paid attention to the shadows you would succeed and go far in life, failing to comprehend that they were looking at the shadows of objects. Members of the cave-based society would talk about the shadowy objects enthusiastically and take pride in the wisdom they spread to each other.

One of the inhabitants left the cave and saw real light and animals in their true form: this changed his whole perception of reality. Stumbling back down the entrance to the cave, he tried to tell to his confused colleagues what he had seen. Despite enthusiastically trying to explain what a real tree or a rabbit is, the returning man did not impress his peers in the cave. Instead, they became increasingly sarcastic and then (like in most ancient Greek stories) they inevitably plotted to kill him.

Paul Orford

The Allegory of the Cave is an allegory for all enlightened people, whether they are arguing that the sun does not revolve around the earth or that we will not sail off the edge of the world if we go too far west. This is what all visionaries from every era can expect when they present truth to the unenlightened.

Can it also be said of this industry with the common copy-and-paste attitude to operating a broker? There is a similarity to the people in Plato’s cave. Is there a fear of offering something new or something which is not ‘canon’ when setting up a broker? Such a thing is often believed to result in ostracism from both a potential client base and Forex society.

However, the brave new worlds of crypto trading and blockchain technology are moving at an incredibly fast pace. Could it not be argued that MT4 brokers will inevitably have to have some form of exchange offering for them to survive?

By not being shackled with the antique retail trading platforms of yesteryear we can feel the sunlight on our faces much like the cave dweller in Plato’s Allegory. In the end, we all start out in a cave and are looking for a way out – some of us just take longer than others to find it!

Disclaimer: The ideas expressed in this article are strictly personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of FinanceFeeds’ team. FinanceFeeds does not provide investment advice and does not endorse investments in cryptocurrencies, crypto-assets, tokens, digital currencies and any activities associated with them, such as ICOs.

Read this next

Digital Assets

BlackRock digs further into crypto with metaverse ETF

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with almost $10 trillion in AUM, is set to launch a new metaverse ETF to help investors securely monetize on the booming immersive version of the internet.

Digital Assets

Binance wins license in New Zealand as rival Huobi shutters derivatives

Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange by traded volume, has obtained licenses to operate in New Zealand, even after rival Huobi shutdown derivatives trading last month due to concerns about regulations.

Retail FX

Hong Kong busts perpetrators of ‘ramp and dump’ scam

Hong Kong’s financial watchdog, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), has charged thirteen suspects of market manipulation in a joint operation with the local police.

Institutional FX

TradingView integrates market data from German Tradegate exchange

TradingView announced that it ‎has increased data coverage to allow its users to receive information from ‎and get free access to the intra-day and tick data from Tradegate Exchange.

Retail FX

Spotware Systems introduces Custom Push Notifications for cTrader mobile apps

Spotware Systems, a technology provider for the electronic trading industry, is introducing a new push notification feature to alert mobile users of price swings and market fluctuations through their cTrader app.

Market News

The Week Ahead: 30 September from David Madden, Market Analyst at Equiti Group

Sterling dominated the headlines last week, as there were concerns the UK government might struggle to service its debt.

Inside View

How does the quality of signal providers affect your business?

A must-have onboarding process for brokers with investment services like PAMM, MAM, or copy trading


DBS deploys Nasdaq Trade Surveillance

“The confidence that markets and our clients have in DBS as a safe and trusted banking group is anchored on our ability to detect and respond to anomalous activity, which in turn calls for a robust surveillance and prevention infrastructure.”

Industry News

SEC charges Justin Costello and David Ferraro for securities fraud and posing as billionaire veteran

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Cannabis executive Justin Costello and David Ferraro, an associate of Costello’s, for promoting the stock of several microcap companies on social media without disclosing their own simultaneous stock sales as market prices rose.