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Interactive Brokers Is Planning to Launch Cryptocurrency Trading Later This Year

Key highlights:

  • Major brokerage firm Interactive Brokers plans to introduce cryptocurrency trading to its platform
  • The news was unveiled by chairman and CEO Thomas Peterffy, who said the company expects to add the functionality “by the end of the summer”
  • Peterffy said that the most important obstacle to adding crypto trading is to ensure the safety of customers

Interactive Brokers plans to offer crypto trading “by the end of the summer”

American brokerage firm Interactive Brokers is working on introducing cryptocurrency trading to its platform, according to reports. Thomas Peterffy, the chairman and CEO of the company, said that Interactive Brokers expects cryptocurrency trading to become available on its platform “by the end of the summer”. Peterffy also mentioned that the company’s clients have expressed demand for cryptocurrency trading. 

Currently, Interactive Brokers customers who want to access the cryptocurrency markets are limited to the Bitcoin and Ethereum futures contracts traded on the CME exchange, as well as certain stocks and funds that are related to the cryptocurrency and blockchain space. 

Interactive Brokers was founded in 1978 and is one of the most established brokerage firms in the world. Per the company’s Q1 2021 results, their platform had 1.33 million customer accounts, with a total customer equity of $330.6 billion. According to Forbes, Interactive Brokers founder Thomas Peterffy has a net worth of $25 billion, making him the 65th richest person in the world. 

In an appearance at the Piper Sandler Global Exchange & Fintech conference, Peterffy said that the biggest obstacle on the way to offering cryptocurrency trading is to ensure that customers remain safe:

“As for hurdles, the greatest hurdle is how do you keep you customers 100% safe. How do you make it 100% sure that no one will steal their coins in spite of the fact that they are untraceable. We will find out more about this when we open for business at the end of the summer.”

When it does launch its crypto trading functionality, Interactive Brokers won’t be the first brokerage to expand its services to cryptocurrency trading. For example, both Robinhood and eToro have been offering cryptocurrency trading for multiple years. 

With cryptocurrencies now being a trillion-dollar asset class, it perhaps wouldn’t be too surprising to see similar news coming out from other Interactive Brokers rivals such as Fidelity and Charles Schwab.

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