Bitcoin trading

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

Bitcoin trade price comparison

Assuming bitcoin is priced at $9500
Plus 500 CMC
Headquarters UK Israel UK
Founded 1974 2008 1983
Typical observed spread 40 55 37
Long Short* Long Short* Long Short*
Overnight funding on £1/pt (ex spread) £5.21 -£1.30 £4.54 £0.00 £6.51 -£1.30
Total cost of round trade held overnight £45.21 £38.70 £59.54 £55.00 £43.51 £35.70
Total cost of trade held for 1 year** £1940.00 -£435.00 £2042.47 £660.00 £2412.00 -£438.00

Figures are based on a notional value of £9500 representative of a £1/pt bet when bitcoin is priced at $9500. Data is based on analysis of bitcoin offering from prominent UK competitor websites and is correct to the best of our ability as of 19 July 2019. Table for comparative purposes only. Negative values reflect clients receiving. Above data includes the forced expiry for Plus 500 where clients are charged spread to close, and spread to re-open the trade. Data is subject to change.

* Negative values imply clients receive
** Where 1 year is 365 days starting Monday 1st

NB: Plus 500 have forced expiry dates which would result in you paying spread to get back into the trade. This (forced expiry every 30 days) is factored into calculations.

Benefits of trading bitcoin CFDs

Go short as well as long

Take a position on bitcoin whether you expect it to rise or fall in value

No exchange account

We source our prices from multiple exchanges on your behalf

No wallet needed

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

Access more volatility

Take advantage of opportunities in bitcoin when other markets are flat

Why trade bitcoin CFDs with IG?

Choose a FTSE 250-listed, established provider, and benefit from 45 years’ trading expertise

Automate your trading with our new web-based trading APIs

Improved liquidity with more chances of executing your full trade at your chosen price

Get friendly, expert support 24 hours a day from 8am Saturday to 10pm Friday (GMT)

Live bitcoin prices


Prices above are subject to our website terms and conditions. Prices are indicative only.

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 40 points. Bitcoin can be traded on all our trading platforms, including MT4. Bitcoin can be traded on all our trading platforms, including MT4.

Bitcoin CFD example

You're interested in trading our Bitcoin ($) CFD. Our price is currently 12450 to sell Bitcoin, or 12500 to buy it. This price represents the value of Bitcoin against the USD, and each dollar movement in the price of Bitcoin represents a potential profit of US $1.

You believe the price of Bitcoin will rise from its current valuation, so you buy 25 contracts at 12500 (equivalent to buying 25 bitcoins at $12500 each).

The Bitcoin price rises and our new price is 12550/12600. You decide to take your profit by selling at 12550.

$12550 - $12500 = $50 move or 50 points.

Your gross profit is therefore 25 contracts x $50 = $1250

If the market had dropped to 12400/12450 instead, your gross loss would be $2500.

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What is bitcoin?

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

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 short bitcoin with IG?

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

Do you offer advanced order types?

Yes. You can open your position at the current price, or select your preferred entry point. We also offer a range of stops and limits, including trailing stops that lock in profits and guaranteed stops that can’t suffer slippage.

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 (USD) opens at 4am on Saturday, and is available to trade until 10pm on Friday.

(London time) (market holidays permitting).

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.

Learn more about the differences between bitcoin and bitcoin cash.

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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Meet the world's No.1 CFD provider1

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1 Based on revenue excluding FX (published half yearly financial statements, June 2019).