Interactive Brokers Plans to Offer Cryptocurrency Trading by The End of This Summer

Nicholas Otieno  Jun 10, 2021 11:15  UTC 03:15

3 Min Read

Interactive Brokers Group Inc has revealed plans to start providing crypto trading through its brokerage within the next few months.

"Customers are asking for it, and we expect to be ready to offer it to them by the end of the summer," said Thomas Peterffy, Interactive Brokers chairman and founder, said that at the Piper Sandler Global exchange & FinTech Conference on Wednesday, June 9.

While Peterffy did not specify which crypto assets the foreign exchange company intends to offer, the brokerage firm based in New York started providing Bitcoin futures trading on its platform in December 2017.

Although rival brokerage firms such as Charles Schwab and Fidelity do not provide direct cryptocurrency trading on their platforms, they do provide some access to some related funds.  However, the Robinhood stock trading app offers cryptocurrency trades. 

Coinbase Global, the world’s largest crypto exchange, is one of the major trading platforms which several investors use to access digital coins. However, the newly public company obtained its first sell rating on Wall Street Florida-based Raymond James investment bank on competition from the traditional brokerage companies.

Raymond James investment bank recently initiated Coinbase’s COIN stock coverage, giving it an “underperform” rating because of concerns that competition would drive down its transaction-based profits.

Interactive Brokers providing Bitcoin trading will further lower the barrier to entry for retail investors to access digital coins. But the unregulated coins could pose safety risks to the established online brokers.

Peterffy admitted that the greatest challenge to providing cryptocurrency trading was to ensure that the company keeps its customers’ digital coins safe. 

“As for hurdles, the greatest hurdle is how do you keep your customers 100% safe. How do you make it 100% sure that no one will steal their coins even though they are untraceable? We will find out more about this when we open for business at the end of the summer,” Peterffy said.

Interactive Brokers had $330.6 billion in customers equity and 1.33 million customer accounts, according to its Q1 of 2021.

Trading Forex with Cryptocurrency

The forex market is the most liquid and largest in the world. It is truly a global currency market, open 24 hours a day every week, everywhere and accessible because it can be traded directly through brokers. There is a high number of market players participating in the market.

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have added a new dimension to forex currency trading. Several forex brokers such as eToro, IG, City Index, Interactive Brokers, and others have started accepting Bitcoin for currency trading in recent years. Some brokers accept a variety of other cryptocurrencies.

A significant advantage of trading forex with cryptocurrencies is that cryptocurrency is not tied to a central bank. Crypto assets are free from macroeconomic issues such as country-specific inflation or interest rates and major geopolitical influence.

Many brokers are willing to offer crypto transactions because such trades don’t have geographical boundaries and are attracting new clients.

Image source: Shutterstock

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