Disambiguation – Aka Forex Scalping

Scalping is the act of removing another person’s scalp or a portion of their scalp, either from a dead body or from a living person. The initial purpose of scalping was to provide a trophy of battle, or portable proof of a combatant’s prowess in war. Eventually, the act became motivated primarily for financial reasons; people received payment per scalp they acquired.

Scalping is often associated with frontier warfare in North America, and was practiced by Native Americans, colonists, and frontiersmen across centuries of violent conflict. Some Mexican (Sonora and Chihuahua) and American territories (Arizona) paid bounties for enemy Native American scalps. Contrary to popular belief, scalping was far from universal amongst Native Americans. Scalping was practiced by the ancient Scythians of Eurasia. Herodotus, the Greek historian, wrote of the Scythians in 440 BC;

“The Scythian soldier scrapes the scalp clean of flesh and softening it by rubbing between their hands, uses it thenceforth as a napkin. The Scyth is proud of these scalps and hangs them from his bridle rein; the greater the number of such napkins that a man can show, the more highly is he esteemed among them. Many make themselves cloaks by sewing a quantity of these scalps together.” – credit Wikipedia.

If you’re of a certain age you’ll recall the cowboy western propaganda films of the 50′s-60′s in which the indigenous population of a nation were portrayed as violent non compliant insurgents armed with little except crude weapons to fight their colonial oppressors. Imperialists arrived using technology the indigenous population (Indies or Indians) had never seen before. The invading forces then claimed the Indians mineral rich land as their own by force whilst attempting ideological conversion on the Indies. It’s a blessed relief that in circa 200 years of civilised growth we’ve moved further on as a global society to not engage in such practices. Oh..er, moving on..

Similar to the erroneous myth that scalping originated in North America and not ancient Eurasia, the term “scalping” is one of the most over used and misused terms heard in the retail forex industry. Ask different sets of traders what “scalping” is and they’ll offer up a variety of theories. The origins of the term relate to the trader attempting to take a small pip profit including (or only aiming for) the ‘spread’. As such you’d require the best technological set up and a lightening quick feed to the exchange and preferably not wireless. You’d also require level 2 access/see the DOM, the depth of the market. You’d be able to see the orders, the difference between the bid and ask, and bam! you’re in, seconds later you’re out, profit banked.

Due to the advent of online trading the term “scalping” has recently ‘evolved’ to encompass trading off low time frames, typically one to five minutes, or tick charts. This version of scalping results in traders taking any number of trades during their two predominant sessions, morning and afternoon, London and New York. Taking between ten to a hundred trades plus on a single currency pair, depending on how the ‘surf is up’ in the forex market that day, is not unusual depending on the preferred technique… Read the full article

Source: FX Central Clearing Ltd. (FXCC BLOG)