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Will Sebi Ban Algo Trading? Algo Trading Scam 2024



Algo trading, also known as algorithmic or automated trading, has gained significant popularity in recent years. However, amidst its rising popularity, concerns about its legitimacy and the presence of scams have also emerged. In this blog, we will delve into the world of algo trading, exploring its intricacies, SEBI's stance on it, and the scams associated with it.

What is Algo Trading?

Algo trading involves the use of computer programming and historical data to execute trades in financial markets within seconds. Traders develop their own strategies, such as trend following, arbitrage, indexed trading, or volume trading, and create algorithms based on these strategies. These algorithms automate the trading process, allowing trades to be executed swiftly and efficiently.

SEBI's Involvement and Approval

Algo trading was introduced in India in 2008 and was initially limited to institutional players. It gained popularity among institutional traders until 2016 when it was made accessible to individual traders as well. SEBI, the Securities and Exchange Board of India, plays a crucial role in regulating algo trading to ensure fair practices and protect retail investors.


The Scams and SEBI's Response

Unfortunately, with the increasing popularity of algo trading, scams have also become prevalent. Various data providers and algo service providers operating on platforms like Googlegroups.com have been involved in fraudulent activities, leading to concerns about the legitimacy of algo trading. SEBI has actively responded to these scams, issuing circulars and orders to address the irregular activities. In 2018, SEBI introduced guidelines to regulate algo trading, aiming to enhance transparency and protect investors. However, despite these regulations, scams have persisted, prompting SEBI to take further action.



SEBI's Regulations and Measures

SEBI's regulations for algo trading are comprehensive and aim to ensure transparency and accountability in the process. Some of the key regulations include: 1. Technical and software expertise: API holders, who provide access to trading members, must possess expertise in technical hardware and software related to algo trading. They are required to publish quarterly reports on their websites. 2. Latency publication: Stock exchanges must publish the minimum and maximum latencies between trades, providing a clear understanding of the time gap between coding and execution. 3. Tick by tick data feed: Traders must have access to detailed views of the entire order book through tick by tick data feeds. This helps identify any discrepancies or unauthorized changes made by developers. 4. Algorithm approval: Every algorithm used for algo trading must be approved by the stock exchange. Traders are required to test their strategies before implementation, ensuring compliance with regulations. 5. SEBI registration: In the future, SEBI may introduce the registration of algo traders. This would subject them to SEBI's regulatory oversight, including tests to assess their knowledge and competence.



The Chairman's Statement and Future Outlook

In October 2023, the Chairman of SEBI addressed the issue of algo trading scams, highlighting the potential for misleading claims of earning 300% returns using algos. This statement indicates SEBI's vigilance and intention to further regulate algo traders. It is speculated that SEBI may require algo traders to register and undergo tests to ensure compliance with regulations.




Algo trading has become increasingly popular in India, offering the potential for efficient and automated trading strategies. However, the presence of scams and fraudulent activities has raised concerns among retail investors. SEBI has been actively working to combat these scams through regulations and measures. By implementing stricter guidelines and potentially introducing registration for algo traders, SEBI aims to protect investors and promote transparency in algo trading. It is crucial for individuals interested in algo trading to educate themselves thoroughly and stay informed about the latest regulations and developments. By doing so, retail investors can navigate the world of algo trading safely and make informed decisions for their financial goals.





Frequently Asked Questions


No, SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) has no immediate plans to ban algo-trading.


Yes, algo-trading is widely regarded as the future of trading. With its automated processes and ability to execute trades quickly, it offers efficiency and accuracy. As technology advances, algo-trading is poised to play an increasingly significant role in financial markets.


Yes, as a retail investor, you can take the help of a broker to get access to algo-trading. However, not every brokerage house offers algo-trading services, so you need to do your research thoroughly before you start opening an account with a stockbroker.


Yes, algo trading is real. It refers to the use of computer algorithms to execute trading strategies automatically.

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