Interactive Brokers will offer crypto trading by the end of the summer

In this photo illustration, the Interactive Brokers LLC logo is displayed on a smartphone.

Igor Golovniov | LightRakete | Getty Images

Interactive Brokers – considered the e-broker with some of the most discerning customers – is slated to start trading cryptocurrencies on its platform in the coming months.

“Customers are sure to ask [crypto trading] and we expect to be able to offer them by the end of the summer, “said Thomas Peterffy, Chairman and CEO of Interactive Brokers, on Wednesday at the Piper Sandler Global Exchange & FinTech Conference.

Both retail and institutional investors invested in Bitcoin and other digital assets in 2021. Bitcoin’s price has risen from $ 9,000 in June 2020 to over $ 34,000. Bitcoin’s price has seen a lot of volatility recently due to headlines about a crackdown in China. Elon Musk and investors take undue risk.

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Bitcoin price rose 6% on Wednesday to $ 34,890 levels after falling on Tuesday, possibly related to cryptocurrency safety concerns after US officials managed to recover most of the ransom paid to hackers targeting the Colonial Pipeline.

Interactive Brokers currently offers Bitcoin futures trading on its platform.

Rival brokers Fidelity and Charles Schwab don’t offer direct crypto trading on their platforms, but they do offer access to some related funds. However, the stock trading app Robinhood offers crypto trades.

Coinbase Global – the world’s largest crypto exchange – is how many investors access the digital assets. The trading volume was around $ 30 billion in the first quarter of 2020. The newly listed company received its first Wall Street sales rating from Raymond James on Wednesday amid concerns about competition from traditional brokerage firms.

“The vast majority of its revenue currently comes from trading commissions, and history has shown time and time again that brokers and exchanges see excess profits competing away unless there is a structural barrier to entry,” the statement said.

Interactive Brokers, who offer Bitcoin trading, will further lower the barrier to entry for individual investors in accessing the digital assets. However, the unregulated coins could pose security risks for the established online brokers.

“When it comes to hurdles, the biggest hurdle is how to keep your customers 100% safe,” added Peterffy. “How do you make 100% sure that nobody steals your coins even though they cannot be found. We will find out more about this when we start operations at the end of summer.”

In the first quarter of 2021, Interactive Brokers had 1.33 million customer accounts and $ 330.6 billion in customer capital.

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