Interactive Brokers with 1.5 Million Customers and $360 Bln Assets in Custody Now Allows Trading for Crypto Assets

Interactive Brokers Group announced this week that it had launched a low-fee cryptocurrency trading on its platform, making it the latest retail brokerage to offer its customers exposure to crypto-assets.

Its US clients will now be able to trade and custody Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) alongside stocks, futures, options, bonds, mutual funds, and ETFs, the company said.

The platform will charge 0.12% to 0.18% of trade value or up to $1.80 per $1,000 trade, depending on monthly volume, in crypto-trading commissions but with no added spreads, markups, or custody fees the company said.

For this, the Greenwich, Connecticut-based company is partnering with Paxos Trust Company, a regulated crypto brokerage provider which was also the PayPal partner on digital asset trading. Paxos said in its announcement,

“In the last year, the interest in cryptocurrencies has exploded. Now, more than ever, people want access to this new asset class through their trusted intermediaries. Sophisticated investors see the value in diversifying portfolios by tapping into new technology.”

Increasingly Seeking Allocation

Interactive Brokers (IBKR), one of the largest online trading brokerages which cater to active traders and sophisticated investors, holds more than $360 billion in assets under custody.

It has about 1.5 million customer accounts, and they have an average of approximately $250,000 in their accounts, in contrast to Robinhood’s about 22.5 million funded accounts at the end of June, with its average account size roughly $5,000 as of February. Chief Executive Officer Milan Galik said,

“As financial markets evolve, sophisticated individual and institutional investors are increasingly seeking out allocations to digital currencies as a means of achieving their financial objectives.”

In June, Chairman Thomas Peteffy had said that the brokerage would launch crypto trading by the end of the summer as the asset class continues to become more mainstream.

Other online brokers, Robinhood Markets and TradeStation already offer crypto trading, while Fidelity and Charles Schwab currently offer access to Bitcoin futures.

“As the regulatory environment emerges, we’ll be there to work with it,” said Steven Sanders, EVP of Marketing and Product Development at Interactive Brokers. “We work with a lot of regulators.”

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