Interactive Brokers to Offer Crypto Trading Opportunities by End of Summer
By the current moment, it hasn’t been revealed what crypto assets Interactive Brokers will make available for trading.
Interactive Brokers Group Inc (NASDAQ: IBKR) CEO Thomas Peterffy has announced that they will introduce crypto trading to its platform by the end of summer.
Speaking at Piper Sandler Global Exchange & FinTech Conference on Wednesday, Peterffy revealed that the decision was due to customers’ ‘asking for crypto trading’. While Peterffy did not reveal what cryptocurrencies would be available for trading, it is worth noting that the platform Introduced Bitcoin features as far back as December of 2017.
Expanding trade options to crypto would put the brokerage ahead of peers Fidelity and Charles Schwab which do not currently offer direct crypto trading to their clients. They are limited, however, to offering access to related funds. It does, however, bring the e-broker on moderately level footing with Menlo Park-based Robinhood.
It could also potentially spell competition for the largest cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase. The exchange is a go-to for many crypto traders, recording trading volumes of about $20B in 2020’s Q1.
Giving Coinbase its first sell rating on Wall Street, Raymond James on Wednesday, expressed concern that the exchange would inevitably face competition from traditional brokers.
“The vast majority of its revenues currently come from trading commissions and over and over again history has shown that brokerage and exchanges see excess profits competed away unless there is a structural barrier to entry,” said he.
This comes as good news for crypto in general, which has taken a nose-dive in the past few days. Major cryptocurrency bitcoin has had a challenging few weeks as news of China restricting crypto trading and rumours of hacking resulted in mainstream speculation over the future of the asset.
Coupled with El Salvador’s landmark decision to make Bitcoin legal tender in the country, this could be a much-needed reprieve for cryptocurrencies.
While Interactive Brokers move will open up trading in crypto assets to more individual traders, there are safety concerns attached to unregulated assets that need to be addressed.
“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 in spite of the fact that they are untraceable. We will find out more about this when we open for business at the end of the summer,” noted Peterffy.
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