Bitcoin trading

Deal on bitcoin price movement with the world’s No.1 CFD and spread betting provider.1

When you trade bitcoin with IG, you aren't taking ownership of the cryptocurrency. Find out more about how leveraged bitcoin trading works.

Why trade bitcoin with IG?

  • Go short as well as long

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

  • No exchange account

    We source our prices from multiple exchanges on your behalf

  • Pay no tax

    Spread bet on bitcoin and pay zero tax on your profits2

  • Improved liquidity

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

Bitcoin trade price comparison

Assuming bitcoin is priced at $6800
Plus 500 Trading 212 City Index
Headquarters UK Israel UK UK
Founded 1974 2008 2013 1983
Max bitcoin exposure per client 45 2 2 10
Typical observed spread 50 47.51 47.5 40
  Long Short* Long Short* Long Short Long & Short
Overnight funding on £1/pt (ex spread) £3.73 -£0.93 £3.20 -£2.62 £2.73 £0.00 £5.59
Total cost of round trade held overnight £53.73 £49.07 £50.71 £44.89 £50.23 £47.50 £45.59
Total cost of trade held for 1 month** £165.51 £21.12 £194.10 £13.65 £179.68 £95.00 £213.26
Total cost of trade held for 1 year*** £1410.00 -£290.00 £1784.17 -£340.42 £1614.56 £617.50 £2080.00

Figures are based on a notional value of £6800 representative of a £1/pt bet when bitcoin is priced at $6800. Data is based on analysis of bitcoin offering from prominent UK competitor websites and is correct to the best of our ability as of 10 August 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 in brackets implies 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 30 days) and Trading 212 (expires on the last Friday of each calendar month) factored into calculations.

All bitcoin costs and details

For full details including spreads, dealing hours and margins for bitcoin, follow the link to our help area.

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. 

Live bitcoin prices

Markets Bid Offer Change
Bitcoin (USD)
Bitcoin Cash (USD)

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

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.

We offer two forms of leveraged bitcoin trading: CFDs and spread bets. You can use both 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.

Get advice on how to trade bitcoin

Bitcoin CFD example

You're interested in trading a bitcoin in USD via a CFD. 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 spread betting example

Our price is currently 2550 to sell bitcoin (USD), or 2560 to buy it.

You believe bitcoin’s price will rise against the dollar, so you buy £25 per point at 2560 (equivalent to exposure an exposure of £25 at a price of 2560 = £64,000).

The bitcoin price climbs and our new price is 2600/2610. You decide to take your profit by selling to close at 2600.

$2600 - $2560 = $40 move or 40 points

Your gross profit is 40 x £25 = £1000.3

Open an account now

It's free to open an account, 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 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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1 Based on revenue excluding FX (published financial statements, February 2018).

2 Tax laws are subject to change and depend on individual circumstances. Tax law may differ in a jurisdiction other than the UK.

3 Excludes any daily funding charges.

Help and support

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Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 79% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.