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Interactive Brokers to Offer Cryptocurrency Trading by Summer's End

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What You Need to Know

  • Chairman and CEO Thomas Peterffy made the announcement at a fintech conference on Wednesday.
  • Interactive Brokers currently offers trading in Bitcoin futures, as do several other brokerages.
  • When it launches cryptocurrency trading, it will be competing with Robinhood and Coinbase.

Interactive Brokers, one of the first brokerages to offer no-fee trading and the trading of fractional shares, will start trading cryptocurrencies on its platform by the end of the summer, according to Chairman and CEO Thomas Peterffy.

“Customers certainly are asking for [crypto trading] and we expect to be ready to offer it to them by the end of the summer,” Peterffy said Wednesday at the Piper Sandler Global Exchange & FinTech Conference, according to CNBC.

The online brokerage currently offers trading in Bitcoin futures as do TD Ameritrade, Kraken and several other crypto-focused firms.

When it launches cryptocurrency trading, Interactive Brokers will be competing against Robinhood, whose platform has had problems with Dogecoin and Ether trading, and, primarily, Coinbase Global, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, which went public in mid-April. Coinbase’s stock price has since been falling almost steadily since its initial public offering and is now roughly 40% below its inaugural price.

Bitcoin, meanwhile, is also down about 40% from its highest price near $65,000, reached on April 14, the same day that Coinbase went public. In midday trading on Wednesday, Bitcoin was priced just below $35,000, about four times its price a year ago.

Peterffy’s announcement came the same day that El Salvador adopted Bitcoin as legal tender. He told the Piper Sandler conference that there were still concerns about the safety of cryptocurrency trading, according to CNBC. “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.”

As of the end of May, Interactive Brokers had 1.39 million client accounts, 65% more than a year ago, according to the firm’s latest metrics report.