Best Cryptocurrency CFD Brokers

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Live 2 pips None Market $200 Account Details
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Retail 1.3 pips None Instant $100 Account Details
Professional 1.3 pips None Instant $100 Account Details

Trading Cryptocurrency

Traders know there is money to be made on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and brokers have adapted their trading platforms and customer support hours to provide a genuine crypto CFD trading experience.

This form of trading burst onto the scene in 2016 with the explosive growth in Bitcoin value that generated a widespread trend, which led most brokers to develop technology to offer these pairs to clients.

What is a cryptocurrency?

A cryptocurrency is a digital currency that can be used to make payments, gain access to a platform, or make investments.  These are mined using computers and are added to the blockchain, unlike traditional currencies that are minted by a federal bank.

Most cryptocurrencies have a limit on the number of coins that can be created which allows them to hold their value so that they can be viewed as an investment vehicle.

There are dozens of these currencies, but the most liquid and widespread are Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and EOS.

What is Blockchain?

The blockchain is a time-stamped digital record used to keep track of data. Similar to a traditional notary blockchain eliminates the possibility to backdate and alter digital data. With the introduction of digital tender, blockchain is used as a distributed ledger containing a register of transactions. Every block in a blockchain includes data, a unique hash (which could be compared to a fingerprint on a human) and the hash of the previous block in the blockchain.

The data in a Bitcoin block stores details about transactions such as amount, sender and receiver.

The Hash identifies a block and its contents and is always unique.

Changing information in a block will change the hash of the block, thus automatically making all following blocks invalid as they no longer store a valid hash of the previous block.

Additionally, blockchain has a mechanism that slows down the creation of new blocks called “proof-of-work” to prevent tampering with data inside the blocks.

The ledger (transactions) are re-calculated every ten minutes by the machine with the strongest processing power. All other computers on the network check and verifies the transactions entered are valid, and once the most robust machine has completed the calculation.

If more than 50% of the computers agree on the outcome of the calculation, the new block of transactions gets included in the blockchain.

What is mining?

Mining is the process of adding new tender to the blockchain, and in effect generating new amounts of tender. Mining uses high-powered computers to find and verify the resulting coin, which is placed in a wallet associated with the computer.

What are Wallets?

A digital wallet allows a user to store coins and enables the movement of funds by the owner. An account is referred to as an address or key, where the key is used to track the ownership of a tender.

A wallet can also be a program or a physical device, where some wallets are geared for only one digital or multiple digital currencies.

Trading Crypto CFDs

If your goal is to purchase these assets for an investment, you can buy them on a digital currency exchange like Coinbase.  However, these assets can be traded just as other FX pairs.

The value of the cryptocurrency CFDs mirrors the tender it follows, where each transaction is the only speculation on the value of the currency increasing or decreasing.

There are several benefits to trading these currencies:

  • You can use leverage
  • You can trade it at most forex brokers
  • You don’t ever own the asset and only speculate on currency value changes

There are a few things you should know about crypto CFD trading. With the leverage of 10:1 you are likely to experience the pricing volatility to be able to make a profit, as the value of these currencies is extremely volatile because only a few external factors exist that can affect or regulate the swings in value.

The historical volatility of most cryptocurrencies is elevated, as in cases like Bitcoin where there was a 25% increase in value during the past 12-months with spikes up to 73%, which is in contrast to the traditional fiat currencies where historical volatility is below 3%.

These currencies have similar traits to traditional ones. If you plan on trading this asset over the short-term, you should look for rapid changes in sentiment, as this will help predict future movements of the price.  If you plan on trading over the long-term, it will take significant new information to significantly change their value.

Use the provided trading platform to execute trades, perform analysis and follow the news. Many of the brokers that offer cryptocurrency CFDs offer CFDs on many other assets on the same platform, which provides for a seamless transition if you have already accustomed to trading this asset class.

What Cryptocurrencies Should You Trade?

  • Bitcoin – The most liquid of them all is Bitcoin (BTC), and it is also the oldest. It was established in 2009 by an unknown person using the name Satoshi Nakamoto to be is used as a payment mechanism, allowing users to exchange it for goods and services. You can trade BTC versus fiat currencies such as the USD and EUR are common.
  • Ethereum is an open source platform that uses blockchain technology. The critical function is smart contract programming. Ethereum is very liquid and experiences the volatility expected from this market. The system went live on July 30, 2015, with 72-million coins.
  • Litecoin is similar in its functionality relative to other digital currencies built on the same public software that was used to create Bitcoin but uses a different license to make it more flexible. The creation Litecoin was initially referred to as an alternative coin or altcoin, starting in October 2011.
  • Ripple is a payment system and currency exchange network created by Ripple Labs Inc. The system was established in 2012, and Ripple can be traded versus several fiat currencies as well as other coins.
  • EOS runs on blockchain software driven by cryptocurrency EOS. EOS operates as a smart contract platform and decentralised operating system. The system is fast and can execute millions of transacts in seconds. You can trade EOS against other coins and fiat currencies

How are cryptocurrencies different from regular currencies?

Over the last decade, the supply of money has grown exponentially which has been the most considerable growth in the supply of money in history. Our money system is controlled by the Central Banks, which in fact is a fiat currency system that has the power to create money. All currencies around the world are government fiat currencies. The real issue with the fiat currencies is that the more of a currency that is in a system, the more the prices rise. Subsequently, this will cause inflation to increase and the value of the currency to drop.

Both BTC and gold are similar in that there is a finite supply, in contrast to fiat currencies, where a reserve bank can print more tender.  As such, there is a certain predictable rate at which Bitcoin is being mined, similar to the somewhat predictable rate at which gold is being added to the market.

How many Cryptocurrencies are there?

By July 3, 2017, there were 34, and by June 5th 2019 there are 2216.  The table below shows the top 10 crypto-currencies, by market capitalisation (as of July 3, 2017).

Source: coinmarketcap.com

Cryptocurrency Trading vs. FX Trading

The main advantage of owning digital tender is to store of wealth because the fiat money suppliers can use their purchasing power quite dramatically.

Unlike traditional currency trading, there is no central bank to manipulate the digital currency value the same way central banks manage the exchange rates, and they are currency free from taxes as there is no way to regulate its movement.

In essence, virtual currency is created, stored and exchanged on a network, unlike currency trading which is traded over the counter.

In comparison, Bitcoins can’t be devalued by more money being printed through quantitative easing programs because the total number of Bitcoins is limited to 21 million.

Why Trade Bitcoin & Digital Coins?

These assets are known for their high volatility, and thus creating more trading opportunities.  Forex volatility has fallen to near record lows in the past ten years to less than 1%, while Bitcoin has had extreme volatility readings of 30% with an average volatility reading of 10%. More volatility means more trading opportunities and bigger profits, but at the same time, it also increases the sizes of the losses. Because of this volatility, you will find that brokers offer much lower maximum leverage for these pairs.

Analyzing these pairs is easier because you don’t have fundamental data like GDP, CPI Inflation, unemployment rate or the business cycle to consider. Digital currencies are not influenced by these fundamental macro data which in essence will make the price action much easier to be read.

What To Look for in a Broker?

Find a broker that provides a robust trading platform, where you can perform technical analysis with ease, execute trades quickly, with a wide choice of currency pairs.

You want to be able to buy and sell both fiat currencies, such as the dollar, yen, pound, and euro as well as versus other coins and commodities. In addition to your broker providing either a downloadable platform or web-based platform, you should look for one with a mobile app.

They should offer a margin account, allowing at least 10:1 leverage on most pairs, an education section to help you trade this fast-moving market, with trading conditions that won’t eat up too much of your profits.

Finally, find a brokerage with a demo account which will let you test drive the platform, and work out any kinks before you risk your capital.

Trading Forex and CFDs is not suitable for all investors and comes with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 75-90% of retail investors lose money trading these products. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.