Bitcoin trading

Trade on bitcoin price movement with Australia's No.1 CFD provider,1 and take advantage of bitcoin volatility without owning any cryptocurrency.

Why trade bitcoin CFDs with IG?

  • No wallet needed

    Get exposure to the bitcoin price without the worries of managing a bitcoin wallet

  • A fully regulated, trusted provider

    We're an FCA- and ASIC-regulated, FTSE 250 company with over 45 years of experience

  • Trade via an API

    Automate your trading with our new web-based trading APIs

  • Improved liquidity

    So there’s more chance of executing your full trade at your chosen price

See full details including spreads, dealing hours and margins for bitcoin, in our help section.

Bitcoin trade price comparison

Assuming bitcoin is priced at $11,350
Plus 500 Trading 212 City Index
Headquarters UK Israel UK UK
Founded 1974 2008 2013 1983
Max bitcoin exposure per client 30.85 2 2 10
Typical observed spread 70 64.95 66 70
  Long Short* Long Short* Long Short Long & Short
Overnight funding on $1/pt (ex spread) $6.22 -$1.55 $5.19 -$4.48 $9.46 $0.00 $9.33
Total cost of round trade held overnight $76.22 $68.45 $70.14 $60.47 $75.46 $66.00 $79.33
Total cost of trade held for 1 month** $262.79 $21.80 $290.70 -$9.08 $425.12 $132.00 $359.19
Total cost of trade held for 1 year*** $2,340.00 -$497.50 $3,192.24 -$337.39 $4,309.22 $858.00 $3,475.00

Figures are based on a notional value of $11,350 representative of a $1/pt bet when bitcoin is priced at $11,350. Data is based on analysis of bitcoin offering from prominent competitor websites and is correct to the best of our ability as of 20 February 2018. Table for comparative purposes only. Values in brackets reflect clients receiving. Above data includes the forced expiries for Plus 500 and Trading 212 where clients are charged spread to close, and spread to re-open the trade. Data is subject to change.

* When negative values imply clients receive
** Where 1 month is 31 days starting Monday 1st
*** Where 1 year is 365 days starting Monday 1st

NB: Plus 500 and Trading 212 both have forced expiry dates which would result in you paying spread to get back into the trade. Plus 500 (forced expiry every 20 days) and Trading 212 (expires on the last Friday of each calendar month) factored into calculations.

What is bitcoin?

Back in 2009, an anonymous person or group known as Satoshi Nakamoto created a decentralised digital currency known as bitcoin.

Watch our video to learn more about what exactly bitcoin is, how it functions and how it’s created. Plus, find out more about why the cryptocurrency has become so popular – and what its future holds in the long term.

How leveraged bitcoin trading works

Bitcoin contracts for difference (CFDs) give you exposure to the bitcoin price without having to actually purchase the underlying asset. This gives you additional confidence because you don’t hold any actual bitcoins, meaning you don’t need to use a wallet to store them.

Bitcoin is usually quoted against the US dollar — so when you buy bitcoin on an exchange, you are selling USD and buying bitcoin. If bitcoin’s price rises, then you can sell it for a profit, because bitcoin is worth more USD than when you bought it. If bitcoin’s price falls, then you make a loss.

When you buy bitcoin with IG, you’re doing the same thing. But instead of taking ownership of bitcoin, you’re opening a position that will increase in value as bitcoin’s price increases against the dollar. If bitcoin’s price falls, then your position will lose value.

You can use CFDs to open short positions as well as long: so if bitcoin's price drops, your position increases in value. Our spreads start at just 110 points. Bitcoin can be traded on all our trading platforms, including MT4. Bitcoin can be traded on all our trading platforms, including MT4.

What are CFDs?

  • How bitcoin CFDs work

    Our bitcoin CFDs are available as a mini contract or a standard contract. Purchasing one mini contract is the equivalent of purchasing 10 bitcoins, while a standard contract is the equivalent of purchasing 100 bitcoins.

    Find out more

  • Using leverage to trade

    CFDs are leveraged, meaning you only need to put up a fraction of the total value of your position. For bitcoin we require 12.5% of the total value of your position as a deposit. In addition to this, you must also have enough in your account to cover any running loses.

    What is leverage?

  • More flexibility

    With CFDs you can profit from both a rising and a falling bitcoin price. If you buy bitcoin CFDs and the price goes up, you make money. If it goes down, you lose money. Likewise, if you short-sell bitcoin and the price goes down, you make money. If the price goes up, you lose money.

  • Reasons to trade with IG

    By opening an account with IG, you’re putting your trust in an organisation that’s been bringing trading to life since 1974. In that time, we have grown to become the leader in our field, consistently providing transparency in trading, innovative technology and superior levels of service. We're a FTSE 250 company with market capitalisation of £3.1 billion (31 May 2018), offices in 14 countries and over 185,800 active clients worldwide (May 2017).

    Learn more

Ways to trade bitcoin with IG

You can speculate on bitcoin as a CFD or as a forex pair.

View bitcoin ($) example

Trading bitcoin ($): detailed

  1. Daquan thinks that bitcoin is going to improve from its current valuation of $2000; it shows as 2000, because CFDs are leveraged and buying a single contract is equal to buying 100 bitcoins. Here, a one point movement is represented by a one cent move or a 0.01 change in the price.
  2. Daquan decides to speculate on his belief via a CFD
  3. IG is offering bitcoin (USD) long (buy) at 2005, or short (sell) at 1995. This is represented as 1995/2005.
  4. Believing that bitcoin is set to improve, Daquan buys a single contract at 2005.
  5. A major retailer announces that it will begin accepting bitcoin, and its value increases 50 points to $2050 (or 2050); IG now offers bitcoin at 2045/2055.
  6. Daquan decides to take his profits, selling at the bid price of 2045; this is 40 points above the initial offer price of 2005

In this instance, Daquan would’ve made $4000 profit from his CFD. If he had shorted bitcoin instead of going long, he would have lost $6000.

View bitcoin forex pair example

Trading bitcoin (USD): detailed

You're interested in trading bitcoin (USD) CFD. Our price is currently 2400/2410.

You believe the bitcoin price will fall against the dollar, so you sell 1 contract at 2400 (equivalent to selling 100 bitcoins at $2400).

The bitcoin price falls and our new price is 2350/2360. You decide to take your profit by buying at 2360.

$2400 - $2360 = $40 move or 40 points

Your gross profit is 40 points x $100 = $4000.

If the market had rallied 50 points instead, your gross loss would be $5000.

Open an account now

There's no minimum balance to open an account, it takes less than five minutes, and there's no obligation to fund or trade.


Do I need a bitcoin wallet to trade bitcoin markets with IG?

No. With IG you are simply speculating on the price movement of bitcoin ($). You never need to actually own any.

Can I take a short view to open on the price of bitcoins ($) with the markets that IG offers?

Yes. With our FX pairs you never hold bitcoins in the real sense, so you can take a short view to open on bitcoins.

How are IG's bitcoin settlements derived?

IG’s bitcoin settlement is based on a combination of real time prices provided directly by some of the world’s most liquid bitcoin exchanges.

When are your bitcoin markets available?

Bitcoin markets close at 8am on Saturday AEDT, then reopens on Saturday at 7pm AEDT.

What is bitcoin cash?

Bitcoin cash is a new cryptocurrency. Launched in August 2017 as a result of a split in the bitcoin transaction ledger (known as the blockchain), it operates under a different set of rules to bitcoin, and with a different blockchain altogether.

How did bitcoin cash come about?

Bitcoin’s skyrocketing popularity was causing difficulties for the bitcoin mining community, which struggled to keep up with the capacity of transactions. Traders were having to wait an increasingly long time for their transactions to go through, and expected to pay additional fees if they wanted things to move quicker.

Cue disagreement within the community about how exactly to solve the scalability problem. Many miners felt that existing restrictions imposed by the software needed to be revised, while others felt this would disincentivise miners and devalue the cryptocurrency. This ultimately led to a split, or ‘hard fork’, in the blockchain.

Bitcoin forks aren’t uncommon, but there is usually a consensus on which version of the blockchain to discard. On this occasion, however, neither was discarded. This resulted in two tokens: the original bitcoin, and the new bitcoin cash.

This enabled bitcoin cash miners to apply new rules to their mining software and expand the currency’s transaction capacity, among other changes. As such, despite a shared transaction history, the two currencies are now entirely incompatible with one another.

Can I trade bitcoin on the MetaTrader 4 platform?

Yes, you can use the MetraTrader 4 (MT4) platform to trade bitcoin against the US dollar. With MT4, you’ll gain access to low latency execution, as well as a number of free apps, indicators and tools. 

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1 World's largest retail CFD provider by revenue (excluding FX). Source: Published financial statements, as at February 2018.

2 Please refer to our PDS

Contact us

Questions about opening an account:

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