Interactive Brokers brings crypto trading to US clients


The US-based multinational brokerage firm has partnered with Paxos to roll out cryptocurrency trading services

The electronic brokerage firm Interactive Brokers announced yesterday that it would be enabling low-fee crypto trading. Clients of the broker will now be able to directly trade and custody cryptocurrencies on the platform. The Connecticut-based broker is the latest online retail brokerage to introduce crypto assets to its offerings.

Not many brokerage firms have embraced digital assets, with Robinhood and TradeStation being the other standout names. Other investment management services providers like Charles Schwab and Fidelity indirectly support crypto trading. The two financial service firms offer access to Bitcoin futures.

The news of integrating cryptocurrency trading isn’t exactly surprising. Chairman Thomas Peterffy teased in June that the broker was set to bring cryptocurrencies onto its platform by the end of summer. The move, he explained, would suit sophisticated clients. The offering is, at present, exclusively available to US users with individual or joint accounts and covers Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash.

The firm’s chief executive Milan Galik noted, “In giving our clients access to cryptocurrency trading, we recognize the need to meet the growing investor demand to trade cryptocurrency alongside other asset classes in a convenient and low-cost way.”

The provision of the new service is facilitated by the regulated blockchain infrastructure company Paxos. The financial institution and technology firm, which obtained a bank charter from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in April, has previously worked with PayPal to offer trading services of digital assets. Interactive Brokers leverages the Paxos Crypto Brokerage offering as the API to support trading and custody while retaining its clients.

Paxos chief executive Charles Cascarilla spoke about the firm’s role, saying, “Paxos provides the regulated blockchain infrastructure to ensure enterprises can enable crypto safely and with reduced risk. Our collaboration with Interactive Brokers allows experienced investors to have fast, reliable access to the digital economy for the first time.”

Crypto trading will be offered on the same screen as other traditional assets like stocks, futures, mutual funds and bonds, giving users a friendly and unified customer experience. The company also highlighted its low commissions in the announcement.

“Cryptocurrency trading with Paxos on Interactive Brokers’ platform has low commissions of just 0.12% – 0.18% of trade value, depending on monthly volume, with a USD 1.75 minimum per order. Plus, there are no added spreads, markups, or custody fees.”

Though it starts in the US first, there are plans to extend the reach of the service to cover financial advisors and clients in other markets.

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