9 Best Cryptocurrency Brokers – Trade Bitcoin CFDs

Cryptocurrency brokers are intermediaries that act as middlemen, connecting investors who want to buy or sell digital currencies like bitcoin directly with those willing to provide them. Brokers offer their services at lower costs than exchanges do but they also have fewer features. They can be used by anyone looking to invest in crypto-currencies without having any technical knowledge about how it works.

Crypto exchanges are online platforms where you can buy, sell, exchange, and store cryptocurrencies. They are similar to stock brokers, except instead of stocks, crypto exchanges deal in cryptocurrencies.

There are different types of crypto exchanges. Some only allow you to trade cryptocurrencies while others also let you deposit fiat into their accounts.

Differences between crypto brokers and exchanges

The main difference between a broker and an exchange

In general, there are three major differences between brokers and exchanges:

1. Brokers don’t charge any fees for their services. They just take a small percentage from every deal they make. On the contrary, most exchanges have high fees because they cover all costs associated with running the platform. This includes things like security measures, customer support etc.

2. Most brokers provide more than 100 types of financial instruments while many exchanges focus solely on digital currencies.

3. Brokers are better suited for speculative investors that want to invest in cryptocurrencies without having much knowledge about them. Exchanges are best used by experienced traders who know what they’re doing.

4. You buy actual assets on exchanges while you trade a contract or virtual asset through your brokerage account.

Below is a tabular overview of differences between brokers and crypto exchanges:

BrokerExchange
LiquidityDeepAverage
Market depthPotentially higherLimited
Customer serviceExperiencedLimited
FeaturesFor experienced usersFor average users
Fiat usageYesYes/No
Number of cryptocurrenciesLowHigh
SpreadTightWide
Funds safetyProtectedSemi-protected
RegulatedYesDepends on location

Best crypto brokers 2021

eToro


eToro was originally founded in 2006 in Tel Aviv, Israel. They now have operations all over the globe from the United State, the United Kingdom and Cyprus. Their main platforms are their mobile app and website that is simple and provides only basic functions when it comes to trading, the interface gives an almost game like experience to the trading world. Despite this they offer a multitude of options when it comes to trading. They are a multi-asset brokerage that not only provides a lot of financial markets, but it also features a lot of copy trading services, allowing traders to go back and forth and follow other traders who are more successful.

Etoro

Available in the US:
Yes, although trading crypto outside the US is not allowed.

What can you Trade?

  • Forex
  • ETFs
  • Stocks
  • Indices
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • Commodities.

Pros:
✅ Trade Bitcoin & many other Cryptos
✅Minimum Deposit is $200
✅ Regulated and Trusted Platform
✅ Australian Traders Are Also Accepted
✅ Great Support Team
✅ Offers a Demo account
✅ Many Payment Methods

Cons:
❌ You cannot withdraw any cryptocurrency
❌ You have to complete a questionnaire, upon sign up
❌ Spreads are higher than the standard offered elsewhere
❌ Simple Platform and Interface
❌ Limited access for American’s compared to other brokers.

Leverage:
ETF markets at 1:2, CFDs at 1:5, Indices at 1:5, Commodities starting at 1:10, Currencies at 1:100.

Deposit Options:
Mastercard, Visa, PayPal. Diners Club International, Skrill, Neteller, Union Pay, WebMoney and Yandex

Minimum Deposit:
The minimum deposit for opening an account with eToro starts at $50 dollars if you are trading from Australia or the United States. If you are based outside these two countries you will have to pay $200 to start up. The withdrawal fees with eToro are high, starting at $25 along with any banking costs.

Bottom Line:
eToro is one of the pioneers of Social Trading, their stand out feature is the ability to follow other people and see their trading history. The platform has benefits for both the experienced traders who want to be rewarded for their ideas and get the chance to show off their portfolio in real time. Those with less experience that require handholding may find the easy to understand interface and the ability to follow more experienced traders helpful.
I do not recommend eToro for high volume or active traders, but when it comes to crypto and social copy trading, I think it’s a great choice for beginner and advanced traders alike.

Check out our eToro vs Coinbase and eToro vs Binance comparisons. Also, this articles talks about the top eToro alternatives you can find. And here we explain how to buy bitcoin on eToro.

Regulations:

  • CySEC (Cyprus)
  • FCA (UK)
  • ASIC (Australia)

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XTB


Founded in 2002, XTB is publicly-traded and regulated in one tier-1 jurisdiction, making it a safe broker (low-risk) for forex and CFDs trading. XTB’s xStation platform suite provides excellent usability and offers a robust selection of trading tools and research. Also, thanks to a more extensive range of CFDs, XTB is a viable option for currency trading. Each account comes with its own execution method and spread model, in terms of commissions and fees. Overall, spreads are competitive. XTB maintains offices in over a dozen countries across Europe.

Available in the US:
No, as they are CFD providers

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What can you Trade?
Forex
ETFs
Stocks
Indices
Cryptocurrencies
Commodities

Pros:
Fully licensed and regulated by the FCA to offer real money cryptocurrency trading
Demo trading account available.
1500+ financial instruments to trade
MT4 and xStation5 trading platforms
Trading Academy, live market analysis, webinars, trading club and mentoring
Active presence on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook

Cons:
Just 5 digital currency options available
Restricted to traders from certain countries only
Not available in the US
Leverage:
Depending on the assets being traded it can be as high as 1:500.

Deposit Options:
MasterCard, Visa, Skrill, Wire Transfer, PayPal, Neteller

Minimum Deposit:
The minimum deposit for opening an account with XTB is $250

Bottom Line:
A diverse selection of tradable securities, outstanding customer service, and a unique proprietary trading platform suite, xStation 5, summarizes the highlights of XTB’s all-around competitive offering. Its weak spot is its mobile app, which even then still meets the industry standard as far as features go. XTB continued its multi-year winning streak finishing Best in Class across two categories, including Crypto Trading, and Customer Service in 2020.

Regulations:
CySEC (Cyprus)
FCA (UK)
IFSC (Belize)
KNF (Poland)

IG


IG was established in the UK in 1974 and is one of the biggest CFD brokers in the world. It is regulated by several bodies globally, including top-tier regulators like the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin). IG Group is listed on the London Stock Exchange. IG is considered safe because it is listed on a stock exchange, discloses its financials and is overseen by top-tier regulators. IG is a member of the FTSE 250 with a market capitalization of over £3.1 billion. IG is a truly global business with a physical presence in 14 countries and more than 178,000 active clients. The company has always been at the forefront of innovation, which includes the establishment of the first online trading service back in 1998 and offering the first iPhone app in 2008.

IG Broker

Available in the US:
Yes, but Forex only, through IG in the US.
What can you Trade?
Forex
ETFs
Stocks
Indices
Cryptocurrencies
Commodities.

Pros:
Allows many options for trading such as stocks, FX and crypto CFDs
Global reach of markets
Regulated by some of the most respected bodies in the world.
Great Customer Service
Industry standard MetaTrader 4 (Windows and Mac)
Guaranteed stop losses

Cons:
Forex is all that is available in the US.
You cannot buy crypto directly with IG.
Dormant account fees
No copy/social trading platform

Leverage:
Leverage varies, although they can be high depending on the asset being traded as options are priced differently than the average CFD.

Deposit Options:
MasterCard, VISA, Bank Wire, PayPal

Minimum Deposit:
The minimum deposit for opening an account is $250

Bottom Line:
IG provides a brilliant share dealing offering with competitive pricing. IG’s host of desirable features, including a market-leading charting package, extremely flexible trading tools, the impressive Market Screener, and a user-friendly mobile trading app, make IG a top broker in the UK. Retail forex and CFD traders who want trusted access to nearly every market will find that IG is a fantastic choice. Whether you invest in exchange-traded securities across multiple international exchanges or want to trade forex, IG offers over 17,000 tradeable assets. IG finished Best in Class across an impressive ten categories in 2020, including Offering of Investments, Commissions & Fees, Platform & Tools and Crypto Trading

Regulations:
FCA (UK)
CFTC (US)

Swissquote


Swissquote was founded in 1996, and specializes in online financial trading services. The Swissquote Group Holding Ltd has been part of the Swiss Exchange since 2000, it is now one of the leading online brokers and strive to improve their technologies and trading conditions for their users. Swissquote is one of the major players in the industry that is regulated by some of the strictest bodies. They offer a wide range of trading instruments, spreads and zero commission. Their platform is clean and easy to use, catering to both advanced and beginner traders a like with advanced trading tools, educational articles and flexible account types.

Available in the US:
No, as they are CFD providers
What can you Trade?
Forex
ETFs
Stocks
Indices
Cryptocurrencies
Commodities.

Pros:
Allows crypto CFDs as well as stocks, FX, and commodities
Global reach of markets
Regulated in several jurisdictions
Strong platforms offered
No inactivity fees
Demo account provided

Cons:
Not available in the US
One of the more expensive minimum deposits.
High trading fees
Some research tools are not free
Confusing Trading platform selection.
$10 Withdrawal Fee

Leverage:
Leverage varies, although they can be high depending on the asset being traded but can go as high as 1:100.

Deposit Options:
MasterCard, VISA, Bank Wire

Minimum Deposit:
Swissqoute has one of the most expensive minimum deposits around, at €1000 it is at the high end for opening an account with a broker.

Bottom Line
Swissquote’s target demographic is the highly experienced trader, those that wish to trade in CDFs or Forex. Although their minimum is one of the highest on the market, their pricing and fees are reasonable. Those that are looking to trade long term should look elsewhere, this platform is better suited for active traders who are trading in currencies and commodities. The tools and research options that are available are above par when compared to others on this list. They offer a free email subscription with Analyst reports as well as fundamental and technical analysis. There are also videos and webinars are that outline the basics of trading, and more advanced trading techniques. Daily, and Real Time news is available on both their website on mobile app. Even though Swissquote has the facilities for new traders to learn, and improve their trading techniques, the platform itself does not lend itself to beginners and should be left to those with more experience, in my opinion.

Regulations:
FINMA (Switzerland)
SFC (Hong Kong)
DFSA (Dubai)

ThinkMarkets


ThinkMarkets was founded in 2010. It is currently regulated in Bermuda (Think Capital Limited) , the UK (TF Global Markets Limited), and Australia (TF Global Markets Pty). ThinkMarkets offer CFDs traders and forex with access to 38 forex pairs and just under 200 CFDs, which also includes nine crypto currency CFDs. It is not publicly traded and does not operate a bank. ThinkMarkets is authorized by two tier-1 regulators, zero tier-2 regulators, and zero tier-3 regulators.

Available in the US:
No, as they are CFD providers

What can you Trade?
Forex
ETFs
Stocks
Indices
Cryptocurrencies
Commodities.

Pros:
Trade Interceptor desktop and mobile platform is a compelling alternative to MetaTrader 4.
Global reach of markets
Regulated in Australia and the UK (with EU passports).
Unique cryptocurrency offering.
Regulated in several jurisdictions
Minimum Deposit of $250

Cons:
Americans can only trade Forex
Standard Account holders don’t have access to AutoChartist or an account manager.
Poor customer service.
Trade Interceptor platform offers no web-based version.

Leverage:
Leverage depending on asset being traded, Forex can go as high as 1:500

Deposit Options:
MasterCard, VISA, Skrill, Neteller, BPAY, UnionPay and Bank Wire.

Minimum Deposit:
The minimum deposit is a low $250

Bottom Line:
I would not recommend the standard account that ThinkMarkets offers, as there is no AutoChartist, no account manager and no free VPS provided. For those who are willing to deposit $2000 or more and want a MT4 the Pro account has access to these feature that Standard Accounts miss out on, along with the added bonus of more competitive pricing. ThinkMarkets benefits are its crypto currency offering and its mobile app, although where ThinkMarket lacks is its customer service and the value it offers overall, struggling to compete with other brokers on the market.

Regulations:
FCA (UK)
ASIC (Australia)
FSCA (South Africa)

Dukascopy Bank


Dukascopy Trading Technologies Corp was founded in 1998 by mathematician Dr. Andre Duka, which eventually led to the Dukascopy trading platform being developed in 1999. After the development of the Swiss FX Marketplace in 2006, Dukascopy acquired a Swiss banking license in 2010 and launched Dukascopy Bank. Dukascopy offer CFD traders and Forex, with competitive pricing on 60 forex pairs and 593 CFD markets on its proprietary JForex platform suite.

Dukascopy Bank

Available in the US:
No, as they are CFD providers

What can you Trade?
CFDs
Commodities
Metals
Stocks
Oil
Gold
Indices

Pros:
Offers a Demo account
24/7 Customer support in multiple languages
Numerous platforms and features.

Cons:
Not available in the US
Above average minimum deposit
Above average commissions and transaction fees
Inability to close chat

Leverage:
Leverage depending on asset being traded, but can go as high as 1:100
Deposit Options:
Maestro, VISA, Bank Wire, Bank Guarantees, Neteller, Skrill, and other Crypto currencies.

Minimum Deposit:
Dukascopy Bank has one of the most expensive minimum deposits around, at €1000 it is at the high end for opening an account with a broker.

Bottom Line:
Dukascopy Bank is an exceptional broker for analytic traders, they offer handy tools, research and highly competitive rates for active traders. The downsides with Dukascopy Bank are their lackluster customer service and slim pickings when it comes to available markets to trade in. Besides their drawbacks Dukascopy Bank is comes up trumps in six categories in 2020, including Platforms & Tools, Mobile, Crypto Trading, Commissions & Fees, and Overall.

Regulations:
FINMA (Switzerland)
FCMC (Latvia)

FXOPEN


FXOpen was formed in 2003, starting out as an educational center for technical analysis. In 2005 it then launched its brokerage services and was an early pioneer with Sharia compliant accounts and micro contracts, before developing its own ECN bridge technology on the MetaTrader platform. As of today, they offer over 50 currency pairs, CFD, bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for your personal investment and trading options.

Available in the US:
No, as they are CFD providers.

What can you Trade?
CFDs
Commodities
Metals
Stocks
Gold
Indices

Pros:
They still offer a range of accounts at very competitive low deposit levels. This undoubtedly makes it easier for traders to enter the industry.
FXOpen provide a dynamic range of crypto trading pairs which is beyond many competitors in the sector.
The broker is highly regulated by two of the most respected financial bodies in the industry, and has been decorated with many industry awards throughout the years.

Cons:
High deposit and withdrawal fees.
Not available in the US
The CFDs offering is limited when compared with other market offerings from FXOpen.

Leverage:
Leverage of up to 1:500 is offered at FXOpen.

Deposit Options:
Bank Wire, VISA, MasterCard, ePayments, FasaPay, IntellectMoney, JCB, Local Bank Transfers, Maestro, Neteller, PayToday, PerfectMoney, Poli, Qiwi, RBK Money, Skrill, UnionPay, WebMoney, Yandex Money

Minimum Deposit:
It costs a mere $1 to open a Micro Account, $10 to open a Crypto account and $100 for a ECN account with FXOpen.

Bottom Line:
FXOpen has 15 years of experience and is a well-regulated broker. Although they offer a respectable MetaTrader and copy trading experience, research is still an underserved area the broker should enhance, along with its trading tools, platforms offering, and range of CFDs, which remains very limited. FxOpen is one of the most reputable brokers among forex industry and you can trade with them in comfort. For those starting out with trading FXOpen is a great broker due to their low minimums and easy to use interface, but it lacks some vital features more experienced traders would deem a must have.

Regulations:
FCA (London)
ASIC (Australia)

My Recommendation:


There is no one answer to which is the go-to crypto currency broker. Of course, each broker has its pros and cons and will have to carry the coin you wish to trade in. You should examine the various prices on the market and compare before you choose your broker or type of account. Choosing which type of trading you would like to take part in is a huge factor too. You should know if you want to hold long term or if you want to do many transactions over a short period of time, if this is the case you should be looking for a broker with a low spread.

Choosing the broker for you also comes down to your level of experience and how active you want to be in the market. For beginners I would recommend eToro due to its sleek easy to use interface and the fact you can see other trader history, giving you an insight to years of previous trades and can copy their trades. Another good option if you plan to hold for long periods of time would be FXOpen as it has a low minimum deposit with high transaction fees. For more advanced traders who would like additional information or tools I would opt for Swissquote, although it was the highest minimum deposit on the list. The features and analytics they over are very good at giving you added insight to the market.

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CaptainAltcoin's writers and guest post authors may or may not have a vested interest in any of the mentioned projects and businesses. None of the content on CaptainAltcoin is investment advice nor is it a replacement for advice from a certified financial planner. The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CaptainAltcoin.com

Rene Peters

Rene Peters is editor-in-chief of CaptainAltcoin and is responsible for editorial planning and business development. After his training as an accountant, he studied diplomacy and economics and held various positions in one of the management consultancies and in couple of digital marketing agencies. He is particularly interested in the long-term implications of blockchain technology for politics, society and the economy.

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