Buy Crypto with Interactive Brokers

Buy Crypto with Interactive Brokers

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February 6, 2023
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Summary: Interactive Brokers does offer cryptocurrency trading on their platform, however it is very limited. As at time of writing, IBKR only allows investors to trade Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash. In addition to this, users can also get exposure to crypto-related ETFs & stocks, however this is an expensive and risky way to invest in the asset class.

As an alternative, we recommend using a licensed and regulated crypto exchange that offers a more competitive product suite for crypto investing. Our top pick for users in the USA, Europe, the UK & 150 countries is Uphold. They are a regulated exchange that offers 250+ cryptocurrencies to trade & stake with zero fees and are trusted by over 10 million users worldwide.

Table of Contents

Best Interactive Brokers Crypto Alternative

Platform Highlights

  • Trade and Stake over 250 Cryptocurrencies with 0 fees and instant deposits (150+ countries).
  • Regulated and Licensed by CySEC, the FCA, FinCEN and has audited Proof-of-Reserves for customer funds.
  • Trusted by over 10 million retail and institutional investors in the US, Europe, UK and worldwide.
Uphold - Interactive Brokers Alternative
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Audited Proof of Reserves
Audited Proof of Reserves

Can I buy Crypto with IBKR?

Yes, Interactive Broker currently offers Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash trading and custody on their platform. This is enabled through their partnership with Paxos Global, which is the custodian for investors who purchase crypto assets on the IBKR platform.

While this is a convenient way to get exposure to the asset class, it is very limited and costly compared to other platforms. With fees as high as 0.2% per trade, there are better alternatives and options for investors in the US, Europe and United Kingdom to safely buy & sell digital assets.

Best Alternative to Interactive Brokers for Crypto

The best alternative to Interactive Brokers for buying cryptocurrency is a licensed and regulated crypto exchange such as Uphold. Unlike Interactive Brokers, Uphold offers a much wider range of cryptocurrencies with over 250 coins available for trading and staking. Additionally, it has zero trading fees & deposit fees (when using a bank transfer) for its users and is trusted by over 10 million people worldwide.

Here is a simple step-by-step guide to getting started on the platform:

  1. Sign Up: Create an account on Uphold and complete your verification (personal or company).
  2. Connect Account: Select the currency you want deposit on Uphold (USD, EUR + 30 more).
  3. Deposit Funds: Connect your bank account, debit card or credit card to quickly deposit your selected fiat currency.
  4. Buy Crypto: The final step is to find the crypto you want to buy and execute your trade.
Best Interactive Broker Alternative
Best Interactive Broker Alternative for Crypto - Uphold.

Can IBKR be used for only Crypto Trading?

No, Interactive Broker requires that users keep at least 50% of their assets in stocks, ETFs and non-crypto related asset classes. This means that investors are limited to only holding up to 50% of their holdings on the platform in crypto assets.

What is Crypto Basic vs Crypto Plus on IBKR?

The difference between Crypto Basic and Crypto Plus trading permissions is that Crypto Plus allows 24/7 cryptocurrency trading access, enables you to transfer and hold USD in your Paxos account, and supports non-marketable buy limit orders. Crypto Plus also gives investors access to 4 more coins which includes Chainlink (LINK), Polygon (MATIC), Uniswap (UNI) and AAVE (AAVE).

To access these features, users with Crypto Plus trading permissions will use the Paxos web app instead of the IBKR trading platform. However, once Crypto Plus is enabled, all crypto buy orders require pre-funding of the Paxos account. All exchange and custody services for trading and holding digital assets through the IBKR platform are provided by Paxos Trust.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Interactive Brokers does offer cryptocurrency trading on their platform through a partnership with Paxos Global, however it is limited to only a few coins and the fees can be quite high. An alternative option is using a licensed and regulated crypto exchange such as Uphold, which offers a much wider range of coins and zero trading fees.

The best option for investors will ultimately depend on their specific needs and preferences. It is important to keep in mind that Interactive Brokers requires that users keep a minimum of 50% of their assets in non-crypto related asset classes, so it may not be the best fit for those looking to invest heavily in the crypto space. Lastly, if you choose to use IBKR for crypto trading, be aware of the differences between Crypto Basic and Crypto Plus trading permissions, as the latter offers additional benefits and features.

Adrian Graham

Co-Founder & former Investment Banker (Finance MBA) turned Full-Time DeFi analyst and researcher. Left traditional finance to pursue my interest in digital assets and decentralized finance.

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