Cryptocurrencies have been on quite the ride since being introduced, with some early investors seeing sizable gains, while those who bought at the peak in late 2021 having likely suffered some major losses. The digital coins have sparked much debate in the investment industry about their investment merits and viability, with legendary investors such as Warren Buffett saying cryptocurrencies are essentially worthless.
The collapse of crypto exchange FTX saw many of its executives get charged with crimes in 2022 and caused many to question whether crypto can survive as an investment. If nothing else, the volatility of Bitcoin and other popular coins can make cryptocurrencies an attractive trading vehicle and creates the potential for some traders to profit.
While some traders like to own the currency directly, others turn to the futures market. Futures may be an even more attractive way to play the volatility of digital currencies such as Bitcoin, because they allow traders to use leverage to magnify their gains (but also magnify losses). But futures involve a lot more risk in exchange for that potentially higher reward.
Where you can buy and sell cryptocurrencies
Traditional brokers have the advantage of offering a wide selection of investible securities, though typically you can’t trade Bitcoin directly, only futures. Meanwhile, crypto exchanges are limited to digital currencies, though you can own the currencies directly and can often buy several, rather than simply Bitcoin or Bitcoin futures, as you would with a general broker. And services like Cash App and PayPal have also gotten in on the act, allowing U.S. users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.
Here are the best brokers for cryptocurrency trading, including traditional online brokers, as well as new specialized cryptocurrency exchanges. You might also want to check out which brokers offer the best bonuses for opening an account to determine where you can get a little extra.
Overview: Best brokers for cryptocurrency trading in February 2023
Robinhood is a great option for buying cryptocurrency directly. You’ll also get to take advantage of Robinhood’s wildly popular trading commissions: $0 per trade, or commission-free, though you’ll still be paying a built-in spread markup on any trades. And if you’re into more than just cryptocurrency, you can stick around for stock and ETF trades for the same low price. Robinhood’s slick app makes trading so easy, though those looking for a full-featured trading experience will be disappointed.
Account minimum: $0
Interactive Brokers lets you trade four cryptocurrencies directly, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, for one of the lowest commissions in the market. Customers can also access 24/7 crypto trading through an associated app with Paxos Trust Company. Plus, IB allows you to buy Bitcoin and Ethereum futures rather than owning the currencies directly. And in this broker’s case, you can buy Bitcoin futures on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, with contracts costing $5 at five coins per contract or Ethereum contracts for $3 at 50 coins per contract. In addition, Interactive Brokers brings its full suite of investment offerings, so you can buy almost anything that trades on an exchange.
Commission: 0.12-0.18 percent of trade value; $5 per Bitcoin futures contract
Account minimum: $0
Though Webull may be less known than its rival commission-free trading app Robinhood, it provides investors with a solid offering that includes cryptocurrency trading. While you won’t pay commissions on crypto trades (or stocks and ETFs), Webull does charge a spread markup of 100 basis points (1 percent of the price) on either side of a trade. Several cryptocurrencies are available for trading, including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Cardano. Charting tools and an impressive mobile app make Webull a broker worth considering.
Account minimum: $1 to trade crypto
Traders have a couple options at this broker, which has rolled out direct currency trading via TradeStation Crypto, with commission-based pricing for traders. Pricing is based on your 30-day crypto trading volume and whether your order is directly marketable. Normally pricing ranges from 0.025 percent of your order to 0.6 percent. Traders can also buy and sell Bitcoin futures as well as take advantage of substantial volume trading discounts.
Commission: 0.025-0.6 percent
Account minimum: $0, but futures margin depends on contract
Binance is a specialized trading platform that allows you to buy and sell digital currencies, including the largest such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, but also dozens of other much smaller coins, too. In total, you’ll have access to around 130…
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