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CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 69% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 69% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Ethereum trading

Go long and short on ether, the token of the ethereum network, with the world’s No.1 CFD provider1

Cryptocurrency trading is only available to professional traders. Find out more about our professional account.

Find out more about how to trade CFDs on ethereum.

Why trade ethereum with IG?

  • Go short as well as long

    Take a position when you expect ethereum to fall in value, not just when you expect it to rise

  • No wallet needed

    There’s no waiting for a wallet, no need for specialist technology and no risk of fraud


  • Improved liquidity

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

  • Trade on leverage

    Gain exposure to major cryptocurrency pairs without tying up lots of capital

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

What is ethereum?

Ethereum is a digital platform on which a whole range of applications can be built, including identity software, security programs and, of course, methods of payment.

So while the cryptocurrency itself is often referred to as ‘ethereum’, its more accurate name is ‘ether’.

Just like a traditional currency, you can own, exchange or speculate on ether. As it’s virtual, however, the currency operates outside of a central authority, such as a bank or a government. 

Live ether prices

Markets Sell Buy Updated Change
Ether (USD)

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

How can I trade CFDs on ethereum?

To trade ethereum’s token, ether, you generally need access to an exchange, along with a virtual wallet which can take several days to acquire. But when you trade CFDs on ether you never actually own the cryptocurrency. This means all you need is an IG trading account, which takes minutes to set up

On our trading platform, you’ll always see ether quoted against another currency, such as the dollar. Rather than taking actual ownership when you open a position, you’re instead speculating on the cryptocurrency’s rise or fall in value against the other currency. If you’re correct, you’ll make a profit; if not, you’ll make a loss.

Keep in mind that as CFDs are leveraged products, you’ll only ever need to put down a small deposit to gain exposure to the full value of the trade. This means your capital goes further, but you also stand to lose more than your initial outlay.

You can use CFDs to open long and short positions, with spreads starting from just 2 points.  Bitcoin can be traded on all our trading platforms, including MT4.

CFD example

Factors affecting ethereum

Ethereum is less exposed to many of the economic and political factors which affect traditional currencies, but its value is influenced by a host of unique dynamics:

Unlike bitcoin, there is no limit on the supply of ethereum. Even so, many ether units will continue to be added and lost over time, causing its availability to fluctuate.

Wider acceptance
The ethereum ecosystem is constantly changing as adoption of the cryptocurrency grows, both among independent investors and those in industry.

Government regulation
Governments are still adapting to cryptocurrencies, with considerations for supervision mechanisms and other new guidelines.

Media coverage
Negative press, particularly surrounding security lapses and hacks, can impact public perception of ethereum’s value.

Technological advances
Ethereum’s integration into payment systems, crowdfunding platforms and more could raise its profile, while confidence in traditional systems may begin to erode.

Market manipulation
A lack of regulation means traders may be able to influence the market by buying and selling in significant quantities.


What is a decentralised platform?

A decentralised platform is shared digital infrastructure on which anyone can build an application, without intervening servers or management tools. Ethereum is an example of this: it connects users and providers directly, and has no central point of failure. 

What is a smart contract?

Smart contracts are lines of code written into the blockchain to serve as the terms and agreements between a buyer and seller. They ensure anonymous parties can enter a transaction with one another without the need for a central authority or legal intermediary. In short, they make transactions traceable, transparent and irreversible.

Who creates ethereum?

Ethereum was created by Vitalik Buterin, a 22-year-old programmer from Toronto. His aim was to use blockchain to accommodate not only a cryptocurrency, but many more programs besides.

Can I trade ether on the Meta Trader 4 platform?

Yes, you can use the MetraTrader 4 (MT4) platform to trade ether 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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Please note: cryptocurrencies are available to trade on an international account only

1  Based on revenue excluding FX (published financial statements, February 2018).

2  South African residents are required to obtain the necessary tax clearance certificates in line with their foreign investment allowance and may not use their credit or debit cards to fund their international account.


CFD example

Our price is currently 204 to sell ether (USD), or 206 to buy it.

You believe ether’s price will rise against the dollar, so you buy one contract at 206 (equivalent to selling 100 ether units at a price of $206).

The ether price rises and our new price is 244/246. You decide to take your profit by selling to close at 244.

$244 - $206 = $38 move or 38 points

Your gross profit is 38 x $100 = $3800*

*Excludes any daily funding charges.

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