Basics of Building Trading Platform: Steps, Elements, and Key Challenges

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Digital trading platforms have increased in popularity among traders. 

They help overcome negative factors every trader faces in their professional life: 

  • sinking profit margins
  • increased costs 
  • intensified competition

Yet, trading remains an underserved market where startups can still create trading opportunities for specific niches, such as grain, futures, or crypto. 

Interest remains because traders expect more from platforms:

  • instant access to a trading session from any device
  • robust, evolving analytics tools
  • instruments for custom branding
  • and much more

Below, we discuss what startups should keep in mind when meeting those expectations with the help of trading platform development

Core Steps of Trading Platform Development

It is always wise to start with an MVP (Minimum Viable Product). A startup should launch an app containing only key functionality needed to successfully exchange assets for money and vice versa. 

An MVP app enables testing a business idea on real users and then building a sustainable business based on the suggested feedback. Startups save development costs.

Essential steps of MVP development for trading platforms include: 

  • Business needs and goals

Startups should establish a competitive edge. They must study competitors to discover improvement points. 

Each trading startup should determine two key points: 

  • what the targeted market demands
  • what problems the new trading platform solves better

It can be an improved analytics system, forecasts and recommendations, trade automation, and more. 

  • Determine a list of requirements

At the next step, startups formulate a list of requirements for their future system. The more detailed, the better. A precise list of requirements enables the engineering team to provide a more accurate estimate of the startup development costs. 

The team offers a relevant development roadmap based on the requirements. It provides an architecture that supports the startup’s short- and long-term goals. 

  • Work on a codebase 

When requirements are clear, the engineering team takes over its part of the job. 

A trading platform project usually requires the following roles: 

  • UX/UI designer
  • Front-end and/or mobile developer
  • Back-end developer
  • QA 
  • DevOps
  • Project manager 
  • Business analyst 

Specialists working on different parts of an MVP do not replace each other. Therefore, startups should consider hiring a solid team that can cover all essential project activities. 

  • Testing, stabilization, and launch

Nothing should affect a trading session. Hence, engineering teams must be ruthless about testing and software stabilization. 

Security testing is critical for trading platforms. All trading platforms are valuable targets for cybercriminals. Startups thinking they are too small and insignificant are wrong. Criminals target platforms of any size. 

Apart from top-level custom development services, a great team provides free post-guarantee support for a reasonable timeline, helping fix technical issues immediately.  

  • Scale and expand

Startups collect and analyze user feedback. They deliver new features that users want to see and try, e.g., explicit data streaming.

It is crucial to determine the initial number of future users and their growth rate. Knowing the number, startups keep the balance between trading platform development costs and the provided solution’s quality. Startups do not overspend the maintenance budget when there are few users. They start adding resources after the load grows to ensure impeccable performance. 

Challenges Trading Platforms Prepare

Every startup should be aware of the following challenges: 

Third-party components

Using external frameworks, libraries, and solutions significantly decreases development time and costs. Solution quality is high. 

Yet, startups must pay close attention to third-party components and their terms of use. New pricing levels may apply when a startup load grows, making using a third-party component less beneficial. 


Again, investment in security always pays off. Startup QAs should do regular penetration testing to ensure both source code and software infrastructure remain secure. 

Also, third-party components can pose security risks. They can be hacked, thus compromising the trading platform. 

Hence, startup engineers must do regular audits to ensure a high level of security. 


Compliance is the top concern. Startups must constantly monitor the regulations in the markets where they operate to retain their licenses. The development team needs to provide a flexible architecture that helps update platform policy in a specific region fast. This way, startups ensure they apply changes in one region while the others remain intact.

Updates and upgrades

Technological updates are crucial for successful software maintenance. Startups must invest in tech updates because they prolong the platform’s lifecycle. The high quality of the initial solution is retained. 

Also, tech updates close discovered vulnerabilities critical for startups operating sensitive financial data. 

Basic Features

As a rule, a trading platform encompasses the following:

  • software for end users – ensures user operations
  • an administration panel – is needed to manage the system
  • an API – enables data exchange between two software systems

Software for end users

Startups can launch a web or a mobile app, or both. The most common features thereby include the following: 

Signup / Login – Startups should reinforce extra verification to block bots and two-factor authentication for users to enhance security. 

User profile – Users manage account details from here. 

Dashboard – The main activity center from where users see their portfolio, buy and sell their assets, and keep a general overview of their trading activities. 

News – Users need to refine their newsfeed, focusing on specific information that enhances their trading strategies. 

Pricing chart – In this section, users can monitor price moves. Users can easily customize a great chart depending on their needs. 

Notifications – Users can immediately set up instant messages to react to market moves. 

Trade bot functionality – This feature helps automate trades in a few clicks.

Analytics system – It retains essential information about past trades and recommends future trades. 

Administration panel

Every startup needs an administration panel to manage the entire system and its single users. An administration panel provides the following functionality: 


System management

User management

Password recovery 


Log monitoring


An API lets systems exchange data securely and seamlessly. It is required when a major player, e.g., a banking institution, wants to integrate its software with the startup’s trading platform. 

An API decreases system load and ensures real-time updates between the two (or many) systems. 

iOS, Android, or probably, Web?

The answer varies on the envisaged list of requirements and available budget. 

Each platform has its benefits and tradeoffs. 

Users can open a Web-based platform from almost any device. Web apps can be updated fast. Still, the engineering team must work hard on its optimization to ensure correct work on smaller screens or under weak Internet connection.

Native mobile apps provide the best experience on smartphones and tablets. 

Yet, native mobile development is expensive because the engineering team must prepare two separate code bases. They must adjust apps to wider tablet screens. To add here, native apps are not available from desktops. 

Therefore, the choice of the target platform directly affects costs needed to create a trading platform. 

Final Thoughts

Traders love digital solutions. They use trading platforms to lift off limitations that exist for old-fashioned trading approaches. Faster decisions become possible. So do new trading strategies, such as trade automation via trade bots.  

Trading professionals can trade anything faster and with a lower cost of transactions with the help of a next-gen digital platform—a win-win situation for them and trading startups. 

To build platform users will love, startups need to be clear about their value proposition. They should take a five-step approach to deliver and improve an MVP which can be a web solution, a mobile app, or both. 

None of the information on this website is investment or financial advice and does not necessarily reflect the views of CryptoMode or the author. CryptoMode is not responsible for any financial losses sustained by acting on information provided on this website by its authors or clients. Always conduct your research before making financial commitments, especially with third-party reviews, presales, and other opportunities.