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Bitcoin

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

Key benefits

  • Go short as well as long

    Trade with spreads from just 10pts, and go short if you think bitcoin’s price is headed down

  • Trade with confidence

    Our service is 100% secure from theft, since you never own any bitcoin

  • Trade on virtual currency pairs

    Speculate on the bitcoin price against global currencies, including USD and EUR

  • Utilise leverage

    Deal bitcoin without investing huge amounts of capital

Popular bitcoin markets

Market  Value per point Min. spread Avg. spread Margin req.
Bitcoin USD - standard $100
 
10 10.61 20%
Bitcoin USD - mini $10
 
10 10.61 20%

 

See all bitcoin markets and our full product details

What is bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency – a form of digital currency created and held electronically. Bitcoin is decentralised, so no single institution or country controls it, and it’s not subject to transaction fees or external regulation.

Bitcoin users have to store their bitcoins in online ‘wallets’ which can leave them open to theft and security threats. Taking a position on bitcoin with IG can be a preferred option for traders, because with forex CFDs you never own the underlying asset anyway.

Like many currencies bitcoin is highly volatile. This can provide plenty of opportunities to trade, but you should be extra careful to manage your exposure.

Learn more about CFDs and their potential risks.

Watch Sara explain the basics of bitcoin trading in less than two minutes

How leveraged bitcoin trading works

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 10 points, and you don’t have to trade bitcoin against USD, with GBP and EUR also available. Bitcoin can be traded on all our trading platforms, including MT4.

Forex pair example

You're interested in trading a bitcoin in USD. Our price is currently 2550 to sell bitcoin, or 2560 to buy it.

You believe that bitcoin’s price will fall against the dollar, so you sell 1 contract at 2550 (equivalent to selling 100 bitcoins at $2550).

The bitcoin price falls and our new price is 2500/2510. You decide to take your profit by buying at 2510.

$2550 - $2510 = $40 move or 40 points

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

If the market had rallied 50 points instead, your gross loss would be $5000.3

Bitcoin FAQs

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

No. With IG you’re simply speculating on the price movement of bitcoin. You never need to actually own any bitcoins.

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 markets are available 24 hours a day, 5 days a week (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. 

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. 

1 Based on revenue excluding FX (published financial statements, October 2016).