Cryptocurrencies have surprised many people over the last year or so, through the massive price-explosion many of them have gone through. Bitcoin is obviously the foremost exponent of the crypto industry and its price evolution has been the most spectacular thus far. Volatility has always been a sort of natural accessory of the cryptocurrency markets, and it, coupled with the unprecedented gains registered by the market as a whole, has turned cryptocurrencies into extremely attractive potential investment vehicles. More and more people are interested in purchasing cryptos as an investment and more and more people are worked up about trading various crypto-based financial products. The hype is understandable: while other asset classes yield absolute maximums around the 30% mark per year, with bitcoin and its ilk, we’re talking about growth in the neighborhood of 1,000%. Above and beyond the cries of “bubble” it elicited, this ridiculous accrual of value has caught the attention of hedge fund and mutual fund managers, who now see in cryptos a very attractive way of expanding their investment portfolios.

Cryptocurrency Trading Brokers

Here are a few trusted brokers that offer trading in bitcoins and other major cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum and Litecoin:

BrokerFeaturesRegulatorPlatformNext Steps
Avatrade ImageYour capital is at risk

Avatrade

Founded: 2006
Pros:

Avatrade platform is comprehensive and easy to use

Cons:

Max Leverage 200:1

MiFID & ASICAvatrade, Metatrader 4, Mirror Trader, ZuluTrade, Signal Trader
Alvexo ImageYour capital is at risk

Alvexo

Founded: 2014
Pros:

- FREE Live trading signals delivered 3 times daily 5 days a week.
- Complete Education pack for novices and advanced traders alike. Designed to support long term – reliable trading.
- Alvexo’s New Webtrader – user friendly, tailored reports and built in trading signals.

Cons:
CySECWeb Trader, MetaTrader 4, Mobile app
OctaFX ImageYour capital is at risk

OctaFX

Founded: 2011
Pros:

Strong regulation
Interesting promotions and contests
Tight dealing spreads

Cons:

Does not accept US traders
Primarily focus on currencies and metals

FCAMetatrader 4, cTrader
easyMarkets ImageYour capital is at risk

easyMarkets

Founded: 2001
Pros:

300 plus trading instruments
Deal cancellation feature
Fixed spreads

Cons:

Only 4 languages

ASIC, CySECMT4, Web platform and easyMarkets on Mobile
HotForex ImageYour capital is at risk

HotForex

Founded: 2008
Pros:

Tight spreads
High leverage
High financial security

Cons:

Does not accept US traders

FSC & CySECMetatrader 4
FXGiants ImageYour capital is at risk

FXGiants

Founded: 2015
Pros:

- Well regulated.
- FXGiants has a proprietary interface to
make its account funding process easier, fast and secure.
- Managed accounts.

Cons:
ASIC, CySEC, FCAMetaTrader
Libertex ImageYour capital is at risk

Libertex

Founded: 1997
Pros:

CySEC regulated
Well Established
Own Platform

Cons:

Only live chat support

CySECLibertex
FXTM ImageYour capital is at risk

FXTM

Founded: 2012
Pros:

High leverage
PAMM accounts
Tight spreads

Cons:

Does not accept US traders

CySECMetatrader 4 & Metatrader 5
24option ImageYour capital is at risk

24option

Founded: 2009
Pros:

Wide selection of asset classes
Trading incentives
Effective platform

Cons:

Does not accept US traders

CySEC24option
City Index ImageYour capital is at risk

City Index

Founded: 1983
Pros:

FCA Regulated
Well Established
Good Support

Cons:

Only 24/5 support

FCAAdvantage Web, AT Pro, MT4

    The most rudimentary form of cryptocurrency trading is about purchasing and holding the currencies. Crypto exchanges provide the backdrop for this type of trading, which is essentially just a newer take on the age-old buy-low-and-sell-high angle. Such investors thrive under extreme volatility and the fact that by nature, bitcoin is a deflationary currency (there’s a limited number of BTCs that will ever exist), gives them a nice theoretical safety-cushion.

    Based on the above-said, it is hardly a surprise that existing online Forex/CFD brokerages have already gotten in on the ground-floor of cryptocurrency trading. Though most such operators advertise that they support the trading of bitcoin, what they offer are in fact bitcoin-based CFDs (Contracts for Difference). CFDs are financial derivatives, which means that when trading them, traders don’t actually get to own any cryptocurrency. Instead, they work with the difference between the exit- and entry-prices of their trades. With CFDs, the amount by which the underlying asset price goes up (or down) is crucial, as it determines the actual profits (or losses) traders will incur.

    Such cryto CFDs are featured by scores of brokers. In fact, the setup has become a sort of fad among online brokers, and all those who fancy themselves cutting edge, have pinned them to their product selection.

    The tantalizing opportunities presented by cryptocurrency trading were never lost on various institutional actors, for whom none of the above detailed ways of trading this new asset-class are practical.

    Indeed, the push to launch crypto ETFs and futures products has been on for a while. Hit by a snag here and there, the effort is still on, with actors such as LedgerX, CBOE (Chicago Board of Options Exchange) and CME (Chicago Mercantile Exchange) carrying the flag of the seemingly uphill battle.

    Though the ETF angle – championed by the Winklevoss twins- got nixed by regulators, it looks like the CBOE/CME approach will be crowned with success. While the two Chicago-based exchanges are yet to launch their futures options, LedgerX have already initiated their first long-term option, setting the price to $10,000. The LedgerX options are called Long Term Equity Anticipation Securities, and the first such trade – matched of course – is set to expire on December 28, 2018. The $10,000 strike price may not look like a particularly bold “prediction” in hindsight, but one has to bear in mind that when the option was matched, the price of BTC was ~30% below this price.

    This option gives the buyer (who paid the agreed $2,250.25 price for it) the right to purchase BTC for $10k by the end of next year. If the price is lower than $10k, then the option is obviously not worth anything and the seller collects the $2,250.25