Every crypto trader needs a platform to start trading. So, what are the best crypto brokers and platforms in the market and which one should you choose?
Everyone seems to be really into cryptocurrencies these days. Cryptocurrency, especially Bitcoin, has proven to be a popular trading vehicle, even though some influential investors such as Warren Buffet think we're better without it. The rapid increase in crypto prices has attracted many traders looking to ride the wave.
To get into action, you will need a crypto broker or exchange. Crypto brokers would allow their clients to trade cryptocurrencies alongside other tradable assets such as stocks, forex, mutual funds, and more. Meanwhile, crypto exchanges typically limit their service to digital currencies only but usually allow traders to own and manage multiple cryptocurrencies at once.
However, there has been some skepticism around crypto platforms because some of them are somewhat vulnerable to hackers. Especially in the early days, there have been several notable cases of hacked crypto exchanges. Although many crypto platforms today have claimed to be safer than traditional online brokers, the risk is never really gone. So, whether you are a complete beginner or an experienced player, choosing what crypto platform to use is very crucial and can actually affect your trading performance.
Best Crypto Brokers to Check Out
Different brokers offer different services, each with its own pros and cons. The goal is to find the one that suits you best. Therefore, you should base your search on your needs as an investor. Here we have listed eight of the most prominent and trusted crypto brokers and platforms in the world to help you make your choice.
eToro is a top-rated crypto broker with headquarters in several countries. The company has been in service since 2007 and has proven to be one of the best in the market. When it comes to cryptocurrency, eToro offers no less than 40 different cryptos including Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Litecoin, etc. Apart from that, they also offer various instruments such as forex, stocks, and other CFDs.
Islamic accounts available
US traders are welcome
eToro established in early 2007, with a mission to make trading accessible to anyone, anywhere, and reduce dependency on traditional financial institutions. The company has head offices in the United Kingdom, Cyprus, USA, and Australia.
eToro (Europe) Ltd operates as a Financial Services Company authorized and regulated by the Cyprus Securities Exchange Commission (CySEC) under license no. #109/10. Meanwhile, eToro (UK) Ltd is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under the license FRN 583263.
As for eToro AUS Capital Pty Ltd, the legal standing is acknowledged by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to provide financial services under Australian Financial Services License 491139.
A broker that belongs to the 4-digit type, eToro offers both short-term options for day traders and long-term options for investors, such as their innovative CopyPortfoliosTM, a fully managed thematic portfolio.
Since 2007, eToro has been at the forefront of the Fintech revolution. The most recent was launched in 2017, which is CopyPortfolios powered by Machine learning Al. Beyond developing CopyPortfolios, the company integrated Microsoft's machine learning technology into Momentum DD.
The new CopyPortfolio investment strategy uses artificial intelligence to find the steadiest traders who are most likely to generate a double-digit return and bundle traders into one fully-managed portfolio. eToro has hundreds of financial assets for trading across several categories including stocks, commodities, crypto assets, currencies, indices, and ETFs. Each asset class has characteristics and can be traded using a variety of investment strategies.
Some positions on eToro involve ownership of underlying assets, such as non-leveraged positions on stocks and cryptos. Employing CFDs will enable a variety of options, such as leveraged trades, short (sell) positions, fractional ownership, and more. For example, traders can invest as little as USD100 in gold, even if a single unit of gold cost USD1,000. Some of eToro's most popular CFD commodities include gold, oil, natural gas, silver, and platinum.
Currencies are traded on eToro only as CFDs. Also, CFDs enable Sell (short) positions and leveraged trade, even for assets that don't offer the option in traditional trading. Some of the popular currencies include EUR/USD, GBP/USD, AUD/USD, USD/JPY, and USD/CAD.
Furthermore, An Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) is a financial instrument comprising several assets grouped to serve as one tradable fund. After opening an account in eToro, traders can invest as little as USD250 in an ETF that costs USD500. Some of the popular ETFs on eToro include SPY, VXXB, TLT, and HMMJ.
However, eToro also offers additional functions using CFD trading. All leveraged ETF positions in the UK are under FCA regulations. Meanwhile, all CFD positions executed by eToro Australia are under ASIC regulations.
The company has other advantages. In all financial assets that can be traded, eToro does not charge any deposit or trading frees other than spreads.
eToro charges a USD25 fee for withdrawals and the minimum withdrawal amount is USD50. Long (Buy), non-leveraged crypto, stock, and ETF positions are not executed as CFDs and do not incur any fees. eToro does charge overnight or weekend fees for CFDs positions, such as leveraged positions and short (sell) orders.
Fee updates always apply to open positions. Fees are subject to change at any given time and could change daily, without prior notice, depending on market conditions.
As a beginner, trader can use CopyTrading eToro. Different from the features of other brokers, traders can copy the strategies of professional traders without fee or profit-sharing. Therefore, 100% profit is fully owned by traders. For example, while trader A who is copied by trader B, produces a profit of 10% this month, then trader B also gets a profit of 10%.
The company is the world's leading social trading network. Since eToro operates in complete transparency, each trader has valuable information on their eToro profiles, so other traders that are interested to copy their trades can have assistance in creating their best portfolios.
Another feature that is unique to eToro is the personalized, social News Feed. Just like on any social media, traders can post their updates on feed, comment on other's posts, and gradually create a feed that is tailor-fitted to trader's trading and investing interests. On eToro social trading platform, traders will also get notifications when a trader writes a new post and many other important updates.
Furthermore, eToro is known as probably the best social trading platform out there. This is particularly useful for novice traders because it can help them learn from the experts by observing their strategies and copying them to their own portfolios. Once they understand how the market works, they will be able to develop their own strategy that perhaps even more effective than the ones they copied. In addition, the platform is very user-friendly, so it's easy to navigate for beginners. The downside is that eToro doesn't offer as much tradable currency pairs as other brokers and only offer limited features for US traders.
Coinbase is one of the best and largest crypto exchanges in existence. It currently serves at least 40 million users in over 100 countries worldwide. There is a wide range of products offered at affordable costs, including 40 popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and more. Another great thing about this company is the various educational materials and intuitive interface, which makes it suitable for new investors.
In terms of security, Coinbase stores users' funds in cold storage and holds a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) insurance against data breaches and hacking. This is great because then users will be compensated if the company ceases to exist. Still, keep in mind that in Coinbase, the private key to the coins is owned by the company, not the investor. For expert traders, the company has created a different brand called Coinbase Pro with more charting options and trading indicators.
3. Interactive Brokers
Interactive Brokers is another widely known broker offering crypto trading that gives access to a wide range of tradable assets at affordable prices. The broker offers to facilitate the buying and selling of cryptocurrency with one of the lowest commissions on the market. There are four cryptocurrencies offered, including the famous Bitcoin and Ethereum. You can also buy Bitcoin futures rather than owning the coin directly.
Interactive Brokers is a direct market access broker that provides execution, clearance, settlement, and prime brokerage for customers. Since it was found 41 years ago by Thomas Peterffy, the company has grown internally to become one of the premier securities firms with over $7 billion in equity capital.
First acknowledged as a popular broker for advanced traders, Interactive Brokers launched a second tier of service called IBKR Lite for more casual investors in 2019.
The IBKR Lite provides services on over 125 market destinations worldwide and gives direct access (online) trade execution and clearing services, both to institutional and professional traders for a wide variety of traded products including stocks, options, futures, forex, fixed income, and funds worldwide. Interactive Brokers Group and its affiliates execute over 859,000 trades per day.
Headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut, Interactive Brokers has over 1,400 employees in the USA, Switzerland, Canada, Hong Kong, UK, Australia, Hungary, Russia, Japan, India, China, and Estonia companies. IBKR is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and is registered in the New York Stoch Exchange (NYSE).
Interactive Brokers offers a wide range of product-centered tools like the OptionTrader and Probability Lab for simplified single and complex multi-leg option trading; FXTrader for forex trading, Mutual Fund/ETF Replicator for helping traders find a lower cost on ETF alternatives, also fixed-income screeners for corporate and agency bonds. Overall, trading with Interactive Brokers would be provided with the most useful and updated tools to maximize trading and investing goals.
As a popular and regulated broker in the US, Interactive Brokers has won some awards. Recently, they were awarded by the Barrons as the 2019 Best Online Broker, which is categorized as the best broker for mobile, international, and frequent traders. Besides, they also won an award as Top Performing Broker by the Preqin Service Providers, and Best Overall Broker by Investopedia (Best for Low Costs, Best for International Trading, Best for Options Trading, Best for Day Trading, and Best for Penny Stocks). The awards are not only achieved during 2019. Since 2005, Interactive Brokers has won lots of awards regarding its best services for clients.
To optimize clients' trading speed and efficiency, Interactive Brokers provides some powerful suites of trading platforms. Below is the list:
- Client Portal
A one-stop destination to check quotes and place trades, see account balances, Profit and Loss, as well as key performance metrics, funding, and reporting.
- Desktop TWS
A flagship platform designed for active traders and investors who trade multiple products and require power and flexibility. Opening an account in Interactive Brokers and using this platform allows traders to utilize the most advanced algorithms and trading tools, as well as a library of tools and asset-based trading layouts for optimum customization.
- IBKR TWS for Mobile
The IBKR TWS for Mobile is made for traders who want to easily trade and monitor their IBKR account on-the-go from either iOS or Android device (tablet or smartphone).
IBoT is a robot for finding information and placing orders using clients' own words. IBot is available on TWS for Desktop, IBKR Mobile, and Client Portal.
- IBKR WebTrader
IBKR WebTrader is made for traders and investors who prefer a simplified interface.
- IBKR APIs or IBKR Pro
This trading platform is provided especially for traders and investors who want to write their trading software or automated trading programs; third-party software users.
Overall, Interactive Brokers has always been a great choice for those who want to find out a credible and regulated broker for trading. Offering lots of trading platforms, Interactive Brokers has committed to provide their best services for both novices and professionals, since it is suited to every clients' needs.
Moreover, Interactive Brokers is one of the trading platforms that doesn't take profit from spreads. Instead, they charge a small commission ranging from 0.12-0.18% of the trade value of $15.01 per futures contract. Until recently, Interactive Brokers were mainly focused on experienced clients, but now it has launched the Interactive Brokers Lite so that casual traders can also enjoy their services.
iTrustCapital is a great option if you're going to open a retirement account. The company is one of the few that allows users to trade and hold physical gold in an Individual Retirement Account (IRA). You can also trade cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash in the IRA. The platform is easy to understand, so it's excellent for most traders, including those who never bought or sold alternative assets before.
Once you reach your retirement age, iTrustCapital will allow you to choose whether you'd like to take your disbursements in cash or in the asset that you've invested in.
All in all, if we compare iTrustCapital to other exchanges like, say, Coinbase, it may not have the best trading conditions and cryptocurrency options. Nevertheless, its simple structure and unique retirement accounts make iTrustCapital a great place to invest.
Established in 2017, WeBull is a mobile app-based brokerage firm that offers commission-free stock and Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF) trading. WeBull is currently under the regulation of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Although it is still relatively new, WeBull has gained considerable traction and it's primarily suitable for traders who want to build a portfolio of stocks and cryptocurrency. There are several cryptocurrencies offered, including Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Ethereum, and so on.
WeBull offers many exciting and useful features, such as economic calendars, ratings from research agencies, margin trading, and various technical indicators. Therefore, the platform is suitable mostly for intermediate and advanced traders.
Robinhood is another excellent option if you're a beginner trader. In a nutshell, Robinhood offers quick access to the cryptocurrency market and a user-friendly layout that is easy to navigate. You can quickly access tax documents and account statements through the app, and you can also create an account for less than 10 minutes. Other than that, the company also offers commission-free trading, but users must pay a build-up spread markup in every trade.
However, expert traders would find that this platform is too simple and lacks several crucial technical analysis tools. But even though the trading options and account types in Robinhood are still limited, it has the necessary basics suitable for novice traders.
Voyager is a popular app-based platform and one of the first publicly traded exchanges. You can easily download the app on your Android or iPhone and earn $25 in BTC after trading $100 in cryptocurrency when you open a trading account. The platform supports more than 50 cryptocurrencies and offers a commission-free trading structure. Interestingly, Voyager is one of the few brokers that allow users to earn interest on crypto investments. Since it's able to cover the basics and provide extra features, this broker is great for both beginners and professionals.
BlockFi is a US-based crypto platform suitable with a unique feature called BlockFi Interest Account (BIA). It allows you to earn interest from your holdings and thus, maximize your account balance. BlockFi rewards 8.6% interest for stablecoins and up to 6% for Bitcoin. Also, instead of selling your coins and tokens, you can borrow against your holdings.
Factors to Consider
Selecting the best crypto broker can be a challenging task. As a general guide, there are several factors that you should put into consideration when choosing a broker. First and foremost, it's important to think about the safety of your coins. In this case, you need to pick a secure broker by ensuring that the entity has a good track record and, even better, is regulated.
See Also: Is Crypto Exchange License Important?
After all, we can't deny that as crypto has grown more popular recently, it's become quite a desirable target for hackers. Therefore, it's highly suggested only to invest your money in reputable brokerages. To further minimize the risk, you can spread your crypto purchases across multiple exchanges and diversify your portfolio.
So, the next thing to consider is the cryptocurrencies available on the exchange. It would be best to pick a broker that offers a wide range of options because then you will get more choices to diversify your trades. But at the very least, make sure the broker supports the coins you desire. You also need to check if the exchange can provide good liquidity.
If you're a beginner, you should look for an easy-to-use platform with enough educational resources to help you get your way through and understand the market better. Meanwhile, if you have years of experience behind you, there are more things you need to think about such as account types, margin, order types, charting tools, etc. The key is, make sure that the features suit your trading style.
Fees and commissions are just as important, especially for active traders. Understanding the fee structure in a crypto exchange can help you save a considerable amount of money. The best way to do it is by weighing the services offered and the trading fees. Avoid brokers that charge high fees but only offer basic services.
Finally, always ensure that the exchange is available in your country. Some exchanges may let you access their website but won't allow you to sign up because their service is not supported in your country. In fact, many governments are still trying to figure out how best to regulate cryptocurrency-related companies from a legal and tax standpoint.
Selecting a broker might be slightly confusing, but it's not entirely difficult to do. Whenever you choose a broker, remember that the most important thing to consider is your needs. That means you need to figure out what you want first – whether you want to own the coins directly or just speculate on the price movement, how much risk you can afford, what coins you want to trade, and so on. Hopefully, this article can give you enough insight into crypto brokerages and platforms.