Buy Crypto with Interactive Brokers

Buy Crypto with Interactive Brokers

Understand the crypto trading options on Interactive Brokers, their fee structures, and how to navigate ETFs and ETNs.

Summary: Interactive Brokers (IBKR) doesn't currently support direct investments in cryptocurrencies, instead providing exposure via cryptocurrency-themed ETFs and ETNs, which come with certain risks. If you're interested in direct digital asset trading, consider U.S. regulated crypto exchanges like eToro, which offers trading in over 70 cryptocurrencies at competitive fees.

Although IBKR's trading fees can be complex, it offers a wide array of assets and advanced tools appealing to seasoned traders. The choice between eToro and IBKR depends on your individual investing preferences and needs. Always conduct thorough research, as investing carries inherent risks.

Top Alternative to Interactive Brokers for Crypto
5.0 out of 5.0 by Datawallet
eToro emerges as the best crypto alternative to Interactive Brokers due to its provision for direct cryptocurrency trading, competitive fees, and a user-friendly platform ideal for a wide range of investors.
Available Assets
70+ Cryptos an 3,000 other assets.
USD Deposit Methods
ACH Transfer, Bank Transfer, Debit Card, Credit Card and PayPal.
0% commissions and tight spreads (1%),

Content Guide

Can I Buy Crypto with Interactive Brokers?

No, direct investment in cryptocurrencies is not currently supported by Interactive Brokers. Rather, it facilitates exposure to cryptocurrencies via Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) and Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs) that emulate the price performance of cryptocurrencies. Nonetheless, these come with certain risks, including counterparty risk, where there's a chance the issuer of the ETF or ETN could default on their commitments, and potential discrepancies in tracking the exact prices of cryptocurrencies, leading to potential deviations in returns.

Best Crypto Alternative to Interactive Broker

We suggest investors explore a fully licensed and regulated crypto exchange in the United States for real digital asset trading. Our research points towards eToro as an excellent alternative to Interactive Brokers. It offers instant USD and other currency deposits to trade over 70 different cryptocurrencies with more competitive fees than alternatives like Coinbase and Kraken.

Here's a quick guide to getting started on their platform:

  1. Register for a free account on eToro and finish the onboarding process.
  2. Click the 'Deposit' button usually found in your portfolio page.
  3. Choose your currency and preferred payment method, then transfer funds from your bank account.
  4. Confirm the deposit and use the search function to find and buy your desired cryptocurrency.
Best Alternative to Interactive Brokers

What are Crypto ETNs and ETFs on IBKR?

Crypto Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs) and Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) on Interactive Brokers (IBKR) offer exposure to cryptocurrencies without direct asset investment. 

  • Crypto ETNs: These are unsecured debt securities issued by financial institutions, mimic the price movements of specific or multiple cryptocurrencies but carry risks like issuer default.
  • Crypto ETFs: These are investment funds traded on stock exchanges like stocks, track the performance of specific or multiple cryptocurrencies, offering diversified exposure and reducing risk associated with individual cryptocurrencies. They're more liquid and easier to trade than cryptocurrencies.

Investors can trade crypto ETNs and ETFs on IBKR as with other securities, providing an easier, regulated route to crypto markets without managing crypto wallets or private keys. 

What are the Fees?

Interactive Brokers' crypto trading fees are tied to account types. The 'Pro' tier can see commission rates up to $1 per trade, excluding exchange and regulatory fees, while the 'Lite' tier offers commission-free trading in the U.S. with costs built into the spread. In comparison, eToro offers zero trading fees and an average 1% spread, but Interactive Brokers' advanced tools and extensive assets appeal to experienced traders.

Is Interactive Brokers Good for Crypto?

Interactive Brokers may not be the first choice for crypto investors, particularly due to their complex fee structure and the requirement for specific account types. While it provides a wide range of tradable assets, it may not cater to those primarily focusing on cryptocurrencies. However, as a platform regulated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), it offers an additional layer of protection that might offset these potential drawbacks for some investors.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, while Interactive Brokers does not allow for direct cryptocurrency investments, it offers indirect exposure through cryptocurrency ETFs and ETNs. However, for direct crypto trading, consider exploring alternatives like eToro, which offers over 70 different cryptocurrencies and competitive fees.

The choice between these platforms depends on your needs as an investor. If you're seeking direct crypto exposure with simpler fees, eToro is worth consideration. Conversely, if you're comfortable with indirect exposure and desire a diverse asset selection with advanced tools, Interactive Brokers may better suit your requirements. Always remember that investing carries risks, and due diligence is crucial.

Frequently Asked Questions

Got More Questions? We've Got Answers.
A Guide to Commonly Asked FAQs.

Does Interactive Brokers support cryptocurrency purchases?
Are there risks associated with crypto ETFs and ETNs?
Is Interactive Brokers a good choice for cryptocurrency-focused investors?