Interactive Brokers expands crypto trading to UK customers

abdelaziz Fathi

US-listed discount broker, Interactive Brokers is expanding its cryptocurrency business by introducing digital asset trading services to its British customers through its UK unit.

Investors in the UK can now trade Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (Ether), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH), alongside the traditional investment products offered by IBKR.

This move comes five months after Interactive Brokers partnered with OSL Digital Securities to launch crypto trading services for retail customers in Hong Kong in November 2023.

Interactive Brokers began its crypto journey in July 2021, initially targeting retail investors. Shortly after, the company expanded crypto trading to institutional customers in the United States. Now, by extending its services to UK customers, Interactive Brokers is allowing both retail and institutional investors to participate in the growing digital asset economy.

“Introducing cryptocurrency trading gives UK clients enhanced flexibility to invest across markets and asset classes while also adding exposure to digital assets,” said Gerald Perez, CEO of Interactive Brokers.

Eligible UK customers of Interactive Brokers can manage both traditional securities and digital assets accounts opened at Paxos Trust Company through a single, unified platform. This integration allows users to access their crypto holdings alongside other traditional assets such as stocks, derivatives, commodities, and foreign exchange products within one account.

British customers, including financial advisors, will benefit from low commission rates for digital asset trading on the unified platform. The fees range from 0.12% to 0.18% of the trade value, with a minimum fee of $1.75 per order, with no added spreads, markups, or custody fees.

The FCA’s new rules demand crypto firms to ensure their marketing is “clear, fair, and not misleading,” incorporating prominent risk warnings and eliminating incentives like “refer a friend” bonuses. A 24-hour cooling-off period for new investors and stringent advertising guidelines are also part of the regulations.

The new regulations also require firms promoting crypto products or services to include a clear risk warning in their promotions and verify that individuals have the necessary knowledge and experience to invest in cryptocurrencies. Non-compliance could result in penalties, including up to two years in prison.

The impact of these regulations is already visible in the UK’s crypto market, with firms like Bybit and PayPal withdrawing certain services. Luno, another prominent crypto company, has restricted some clients from investing in cryptocurrencies on its platform.

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