The latest in a long line of American broker firms launching cryptocurrency trading for clients
Interactive Brokers (IBKR) launches cryptocurrency trading for clients, joining the highly popular Robinhood as the only major retail brokerage allowing customers to invest directly in cryptocurrencies. Clients will now be able to trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash, as client demand for access to digital assets soars.
The cryptocurrency trading service will be offered with Paxos Trust Company, which is the same blockchain firm behind online payment service PayPal’s cryptocurrency venture earlier this year. IBKR aims to be competitive in the market by charging industry-low fees for traders. Not only will users receive commissions as low as 0.12% for traders, but they will not be charged any additional fees for spreads, markups, or custody fees.
Things are moving quickly, with IBKR chairman and founder Thomas Peterffy announcing that the aim is for the new crypto trading platform to launch by the end of summer for U.S. citizens.
A growing industry trend
Only yesterday, we were discussing Brevan Howard launching a new dedicated cryptocurrency department. Just a day later, we now see another major U.S. investment broker that has followed suit.
For those that are involved in finance, it’s hard to ignore the excitement of the cryptocurrency market. The volatile nature of the markets had long made it an unattractive asset to add to investment portfolios or as an offer to clients.
However, a combination of customer demand and a shift towards the adoption of cryptocurrency from financial institutions is what has taken us to this point. We’re now regularly seeing brokers and investment firms offering digital assets, with companies like Interactive Brokers and Robinhood the first brokerages to do so.
It’s in the interests of brokerage firms to follow suit. The likes of Fidelity and Charles Schwab still don’t have direct crypto trading on their platforms, which is something we expect to change in the not-so-distant future.
The rapid expansion of cryptocurrency in 2021 hasn’t gone unnoticed and there now seems to be pressure on investment firms and brokerages to keep up with industry trends.