Get to grips with the basics of how to trade bitcoin with our step-by-step guide.
- About IG
- CFD trading
- Markets to trade
- Trading platforms
- IG analysis
There are two ways to deal bitcoin: buy the cryptocurrency itself in the hope of selling it on at a profit, or speculate on its value without ever owning the token. The latter is how CFDs work.
A CFD enables you to trade a contract based on prices in the underlying market. CFDs are leveraged products, meaning you can put down a small initial deposit and still gain the exposure of a much larger position. This can magnify your profits, though it can have the same effect on your losses.
Find out more about the differences between buying cryptocurrencies and trading them.
When you trade bitcoin, you never interact directly with an exchange. Instead, you trade on our buy and sell prices, which we source from a number of exchanges on your behalf. In order to take a position on bitcoin’s price, then, all you need is an IG trading account.
Bitcoin exchanges work the same way as traditional exchanges, enabling investors to buy the cryptocurrency from or sell it to one another. But there are a number of advantages to cutting them out of the equation entirely:
By trading bitcoin, you also gain significantly improved liquidity at your chosen touch price. When you buy and sell direct from the exchange, you generally have to accept multiple prices in order to complete your order.
Take a position based on anticipated short-term movements, and close it out at the end of the trading day.
The strategy for you if: you want to respond to short-term opportunities in the bitcoin market, in light of developing news or emerging patterns.
To trade CFDs, you’ll first need an IG trading account. It only takes a few minutes to get set up, and you can take your first position as soon as you’ve added funds.
You’ve chosen a trading strategy, but if you’re new to the markets you might want to consider a trading plan as well. A trading plan can help you make objective decisions even when the stake are high, so that you don’t leave trades open too long – or close them too early.
Here are a few tips for creating a plan:
Before you start trading, you need to make sure you’re up to speed with the latest bitcoin news, in order to best understand what’s next for the cryptocurrency’s price.
When it comes to interpreting bitcoin’s behaviour, charts can also be an invaluable tool. Past data can help you make sense of how the market is moving, while comparing timeframes may provide a closer insight into emerging trends and patterns.
Once you’ve settled on your position, you can place a trade using our trading platform.
You’ll enter the amount you want to trade in the deal ticket. You can also define your close conditions: set a stop to close your position when the market moves against you by a certain amount, or a limit for when it moves in your favour. Stops and limits are central to good risk management.
If you expect bitcoin to rise in value, you'll then ‘buy’ the market. If you think it will fall, you'll ‘sell.’
To close your position, you simply place the reverse of your original trade. So if you bought in the first instance, you’ll sell the same amount; if you sold, you’ll now buy. We’ll automatically fill your deal ticket with the position size, meaning you simply need to click ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ to close your trade.
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