The ForexBrokers.com annual forex broker review (four years running) is the most cited in the industry. With over 50,000 words of research across the site, we spend hundreds of hours testing forex brokers each year. How we test.
Among the 30 forex brokers reviewed for the ForexBrokers.com 2020 Annual Review, nearly all offer cryptocurrency trading in one form or another (for a breakdown of how to trade cryptos, read our cryptocurrency guide).
While only a few brokers in our 2020 Review offer the underlying, the majority offer bitcoin as a CFD, and a handful of brokers with exchange-traded offerings offer crypto-related exchange-traded products or futures contracts.
Best Forex Brokers for Crypto Trading
Based on over 105 different variables, here are the best forex brokers to buy cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin.
- eToro - Best overall for crypto trading
- Swissquote - Trusted global brand, CFDs and underlying
- IG - Flexible trading, Crypto 10 Index
- XTB - Excellent customer service
- FOREX.com - Competitive pricing on crypto CFDs
- Dukascopy - Balanced offering
- CMC Markets - Excellent pricing
Best overall for crypto trading
eToro, best known for its easy to use copy trading platform, offers CFDs as well as physical cryptocurrency trading. In addition to launching its own fully-functional crypto wallet, eToro open-sourced its proprietary code for decentralized exchange (DEX) trading, as part of the Lira project from eToroX Labs. Overall, with nearly 100 digital asset pairs available to trade, eToro is our top pick for 2020. Read full review
Trusted global brand, CFDs and underlying
Swissquote enables crypto enthusiasts to trade the underlying tokens (non-CFDs) of the largest cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin. Publicly-traded and regulated in some of the largest market centers around the globe, Swissquote even acts as a custodian for its clients by holding equivalent crypto at Bitstamp. Read full review
Flexible trading, Crypto 10 Index - Visit Site
IG’s crypto offering includes eight CFD crypto pairs alongside favorable contract specifications, weekend trading, and flexible margin requirements. IG also offers what it calls the Crypto 10 Index, a CFD that represents the performance of the ten largest tokens by market cap (think Bitcoin, Ethereum, etc.). The Crypto 10 Index enables passive investors to invest in the future of crypto without having to trade individual token pairs. (68% of retail CFD accounts lose money.) Read full review
Excellent customer service
With 16 digital asset pairs available, competitive pricing, and weekend trading available, XTB has a respectable cryptocurrency offering for CFD traders. XTB also provides excellent customer service. Read full review
Buying Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency Risks
While it can be hard not to be tempted to trade with one of the hundreds of new cryptocurrency exchanges that have popped up across the web, these websites often have been hacked, leading to the theft of customers’ assets. In some other cases they have faced regulatory scrutiny for operating without a license, and/or potential AML/KYC violations.
Even with the expanding number of well-established fx brokers offering cryptocurrency trading, finding the right cryptocurrency broker to buy bitcoin with can be daunting. Liquidity, trading costs, regulation, and product availability are just a sampling of the challenges and risks you might confront when dealing with digital assets.
Indicative prices for illustration purposes. Indicative prices; current market price is shown on the eToro trading platform.
Especially challenging is the method used to keep your cryptocurrency in safe custody, as it is a bearer instrument, and protecting the private key comes with numerous levels of complexity and risk. For such reasons, even the few forex brokers that offer the underlying trading of cryptocurrencies have not yet fully launched a crypto wallet that would permit withdrawing the actual tokens (similar to the Crypto Exchange Circle, where a user must first sell his or her tokens and then withdraw US dollars).
In other words, sometimes the greatest risks are the ones you don’t even realize you are taking. This is why here on ForexBrokers.com we focus on reviewing forex brokers that are regulated and have been in operation, in some cases, for decades. We also include a Trust Score rating for each broker, making it easy to determine how trustworthy a firm is.
That said, not all stand-alone crypto exchanges are bad. For example, while Coinbase was not included in our annual review because it does not offer leveraged retail forex trading, it’s worth noting that the company has become a market leader, with over 10 million customer accounts opened.
Several final thoughts to keep in mind: selecting a forex broker to trade crypto will depend on where you are located, the services available in your region, your trading style, and any specific needs (e.g., margin).
Whether you are trading crypto as a Contract for Difference (CFD), other off-exchange derivative, or trading an on-exchange listed security, futures, or options contract, or even trading the actual underlying physical cryptocurrency, there can be advantages and disadvantages to each method. These differences can be thought of as trade-offs, and whether they are better or worse depends on your needs as an investor or trader. For example, some brokers do not permit weekend trading of their cryptocurrency CFD contracts.
To diversify cryptocurrency exposure, some traders may opt to trade cryptos using multiple methods or maintain portfolios with multiple brokers, holding the underlying passively (as an investment) alongside actively trading crypto CFDs.
Regardless of which approach you take, be sure to proceed with caution. Cryptocurrency trading is risky, and new market providers are emerging each month. Some marketplaces are designed as scams from day one, launching with clever marketing campaigns designed to prey on unsuspecting investors. Meanwhile, other projects may be bona fide, yet succumb to vulnerabilities exploited by hackers, where end-users ultimately pay the price. For these reasons, choosing a well-established provider and diversifying are important.
All in all, cryptocurrency trading is here to stay. Use a trusted broker, and never risk what you aren't willing to lose. Hopefully, this guide will help steer you in the right direction.
How do I know if a crypto broker is regulated?
The responsibility is on you as an investor to be sure whether your cryptocurrency broker is regulated or not, regardless of the claims they make. Thankfully, it is easy to check if your bitcoin broker is regulated by checking on the national financial markets’ regulator in the country your cryptocurrency broker is located (which is, ideally, also the country you are residing in).
For example, a forex broker in the UK that sells bitcoin must be authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). This status can easily be verified by a UK resident who simply has to visit the Financial Services Register on the FCA website and type in the broker's name. The results will detail the regulatory status, or lack thereof of the name searched.
Is cryptocurrency risky?
Trading cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin is extremely risky because of many factors. Also, what makes cryptocurrency risky is the high volatility that occurs in cryptocurrency markets.
Only risk capital that you can afford to lose should be available towards investments in cryptocurrency, and numerous precautions should be understood to avoid loss of assets or fraud. These are the reasons why we suggest only using a regulated cryptocurrency broker.
What forex broker allows you to trade the most cryptocurrencies?
During our latest annual review for 2020, eToro was the forex broker that allows you to trade the most cryptocurrency pairs available.
What is the best forex broker to trade bitcoin?
For active bitcoin trading, including the ability to go long or short, we suggest forex brokers such as IG or FOREX.com, due to their competitive spreads and ability to execute large orders. Conversely, traders that wish to purchase the underlying physical bitcoin can find eToro is a great option, followed by Swissquote Bank.
How can I sell short bitcoin?
To speculate that the price of bitcoin will fall, a trader can open a forex brokerage account with a broker that offers the ability to sell bitcoin as a contract for difference (CFD).
By placing a trade such as a sell to open order, by going short bitcoin, a trader expects to profit from a decline in the price of bitcoin. In contrast, a price increase would cause a loss to a trader that has sold bitcoin and has a short position.
Should I use a bitcoin CFD to HODL?
Bitcoin investors that want to hold their position over the long term may have heard of a term called Holding On to Dear Life (HODL). This type of view may be needed to remain invested in bitcoin due to the volatility that Bitcoin prices exhibit.
Long-term cryptocurrency investors will usually buy the underlying actual physical bitcoin. Contracts for Difference (CFDs) are not ideal for holding long term because of the financing charges typically involved, because of the available leveraged when trading bitcoin CFDs.
Therefore, holding the underlying is best for long-term investing, while bitcoin CFDs can be ideal for short-term traders.
What is the fee to buy bitcoin?
The costs and fees involved to buy bitcoin vary across brokers. Fees for buying bitcoin can become quite high across many websites and un-regulated exchanges, which is why we only suggest using a highly-regulated broker.
While fees may vary to buy bitcoin, the costs will consist of any per-trade commission, along with the difference between the bid/ask price, known as the spread. The best brokers for buying bitcoin will have low commissions and tight spreads, to help trades save on fees when buying bitcoin.
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For our 2020 Forex Broker Review we assessed, rated, and ranked 30 international forex brokers. Each broker was graded on 105 different variables and, in total, over 50,000 words of research were produced.
While encouraged, broker participation was optional. Each broker had the opportunity to complete an in-depth data profile and provide executive time (live in person or over the web) for an annual update meeting.
All data submitted by brokers is hand-checked for accuracy. Ultimately, our rigorous data validation process yields an error rate of less than 1% each year, providing site visitors quality data they can trust. Learn more about how we test.
Forex Risk Disclaimer
"There is a very high degree of risk involved in trading securities. With respect to margin-based foreign exchange trading, off-exchange derivatives, and cryptocurrencies, there is considerable exposure to risk, including but not limited to, leverage, creditworthiness, limited regulatory protection and market volatility that may substantially affect the price, or liquidity of a currency or related instrument. It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable, or that they will not result in losses." Learn more.