Interactive Brokers Adds Cryptocurrency Trading in the UK

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Interactive Brokers, a leading global online trading platform, is launching cryptocurrency trading for its UK clients. The new offering will allow individuals, institutional investors, and financial advisers, to trade popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH).

This is in addition to other more traditional investment products, such as stocks, options, futures, currencies, bonds, funds, and ETFs. All from a single unified platform.

Trading Cryptocurrencies on Interactive Brokers

Interactive Brokers is partnering with the Paxos Trust Company, a New York-based regulated trust company and custodian with expertise in digital assets, securities and payments, to provide cryptocurrency brokerage.

  • Paxos has previously partnered with organisations such as Paypal and Mercado Libre.
  • Interactive Brokers’ UK clients will have a unified view of their IBKR securities brokerage account and their crypto account at PaxosTrust Company.
  • This means clients will be able to manage their cash, trade cryptocurrencies, and invest in other asset classes, all from a single trading screen.

Gerald Perez, Chief Executive Officer at Interactive Brokers (U.K.) Limited said of the new service:

“Interactive Brokers offers a wide selection of global investment products, sophisticated technology and competitive pricing,”

He added

“Introducing cryptocurrency trading gives UK clients enhanced flexibility to invest across markets and asset classes while also adding exposure to digital assets.”

Low cost crypto investing

Overall Interactive BRokers continues to be one of the cheapest places to trade anything. You can see in the below cost comparison compared to Coinbase and eToro execution costs are very low.

IBKR Gemini ActiveTrader Coinbase Pro eToro
Crypto Transaction Fee 0.18% 0.40% 0.60% 1.00%
Spread / Markup None None None None
Total fee 0.18% 0.40% 0.60% 1.00%
Cost of $1,000 trade $1.80 $4.00 $6.00 $10.00

There are several benefits to trading crypto on IBKR:

  • Consolidated platform: Clients can access a wide range of global investment products, including cryptocurrencies, on a single sophisticated trading platform, eliminating the need for multiple platforms.
  • Competitive pricing: Cryptocurrency commissions are low at 0.12% – 0.18% of trade value, depending on monthly volume, with a minimum of $1.75 per order. There are no added spreads, markups, or custody fees.
  • Currency conversion: Clients can convert GBP or other currencies to USD (the denomination for cryptocurrencies on the platform) at tight spreads as low as 1/10 of a PIP.
  • Efficient portfolio management: Financial advisers can easily allocate a percentage of client assets to cryptocurrencies and manage their clients’ portfolios more efficiently.

However, it’s important to note that cryptocurrency is still a very high-risk investment and even tough the costs of trading are lower, there is a high possibility that crypto could become worthless.

Cryptocurrency regulation in the UK

Interactive Brokers (U.K.) Limited is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority as a crypto assets firm under the relevant regulations.
However, it’s important to note that cryptocurrencies are unregulated in the UK, and are therefore not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

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