What You Need to Know
- Interactive Brokers launched crypto trading for clients that are U.S. residents with individual and joint accounts on Sept. 13.
- Flourish has also recently launched a crypto offering for RIAs.
- Interactive Brokers is hoping that crypto will help expand its current base of 5,731 RIA clients.
Interactive Brokers Group started offering cryptocurrency trading for RIAs in the U.S., enabling them to trade and custody Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash through Paxos on behalf of clients.
Thomas Peterffy, Interactive Brokers chairman and founder, said in June he expected his company to start trading cryptocurrencies to customers on its platform by the end of the summer.
“We do not release any new product to the public until it is thoroughly tested,” said Steve Sanders, Interactive Brokers executive vice president of marketing and product development.
“While third quarter was our best estimate, we already launched cryptocurrency trading for clients that are U.S. residents with individual and joint accounts on Sept. 13,” he pointed out to ThinkAdvisor on Monday. “Our announcement today specific to RIAs follows” that, he added.
What Your Peers Are Reading
The company now has 5,731 RIA clients but expects to be able to expand that by offering crypto, Sanders said. He didn’t name any of his company’s RIAs, saying it never names clients publicly.
Beating Interactive Brokers to the market was Flourish Crypto, a recently launched turnkey investment solution providing RIAs access to cryptocurrency investing.
Flourish Crypto is part of Flourish, a larger financial products platform for RIAs owned by MassMutual, which last December invested $100 million in Bitcoin, a transaction facilitated by NYDIG, in which it has a minority stake.
Ben Cruikshank, head of Flourish Crypto, recently said advisors should “take the tone and posture of more traditional financial assets,” including a “real risk management approach,” reviewing compliance requirements and the disclosures and reporting of retail trading platforms on which their clients may be buying cryptocurrencies.
Interactive Brokers Crypto Advantages
“RIAs will benefit from the ability to manage their client’s positions in cryptocurrency in addition to stocks, options, futures, bonds, mutual funds and ETFs from all over the world from a single screen, and all shown on one platform with customizable reports,” according to Interactive Brokers, previously one of the first brokerages to offer no-fee trading and the trading of fractional shares.