The ForexBrokers.com annual review is among the most cited in the industry. With over 60,000 words of research across the site, we spend hundreds of hours testing forex brokers each year. Industry leaders trust us because our rigorous testing is totally independent and 100% unbiased.
Among the 28 forex brokers reviewed for the ForexBrokers.com 2019 Annual Review, 25 offer cryptocurrency trading (89%) in one form or another (for a breakdown of how to trade cryptos, read our cryptocurrency guide).
Four forex brokers in our 2019 Review offer the underlying, while the majority offer crypto as a CFD, and a few offer accessibility via other means, such as exchange-traded products or futures contracts
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 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.
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. For more on Coinbase, read our review.
In this guide, we will breakdown the best forex brokers for cryptocurrency trading.
Best Forex Brokers for Crypto Trading
Based on over 81 different variables, here are our top finishers:
- eToro 5 Stars
- Swissquote 5 Stars
- IG 4.5 Stars
- Dukascopy Bank 4.5 Stars
- ThinkMarkets 4.5 Stars
- XTB 4 Stars
- FXOpen 4 Stars
First place this year went to eToro, which distinguished itself as the best forex broker for crypto. eToro not only launched physical cryptocurrency trading, in addition to its CFD offering, but also obtained a Money Service Business (MSB) license in the US, and announced its crypto wallet, which will enable users to deposit/withdraw cryptocurrency tokens directly. The broker also continued to add new top-tier (by market capitalization) cryptocurrencies, expanding its offering in numerous ways.
Second place goes to Swissquote Bank. In addition to offering the underlying on major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, the broker launched an additional exchange-traded crypto certificate on the Swiss Exchange (SWX:BLOCHU), alongside its existing certificate (SWX:SQCRTQ) covered in our prior review. While Swissquote’s crypto wallet doesn't yet permit withdrawals, the broker does act as a custodian for its clients by holding the equivalent at Bitstamp, its counterparty for providing crypto liquidity to the bank. This enables Swissquote to be fully collateralized for its crypto holdings while preventing potential hacks against its customer accounts. It is also important to note that Swissquote is publicly traded and regulated in some of the largest market centers around the globe. The firm is trustworthy and held in custody over 25 billion Swiss francs as of June 30, 2018.
Third place goes to IG. The broker’s ability to execute larger orders via its offering of CFDs on Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Bitcoin Cash, for a total of seven crypto pairs, along with favorable contract specifications and flexible margin requirements, help it shine among other brokers offering crypto CFDs.
Finishing fourth, Dukascopy Bank took a leap forward and announced the launch of its own cryptocurrency called Dukascoin, along with a stablecoin called Dukasnotes, pending regulatory approval in Switzerland. The broker also offers bitcoin and ethereum as CFDs, and the launch of the underlying helped elevate it in this category.
ThinkMarkets placed fifth. The broker entered the crypto scene in 2017 with a large number of cryptocurrency pairs available as CFDs. ThinkMarkets provides a cryptocurrency CFD offering with competitive contract specifications across nine popular pairs. And in 2018, the broker’s ThinkCoin entity launched its own Initial Coin Offering (ICO) aimed at building an exchange powered by smart contracts, and launched the TradeConnect app, published by ThinkMarkets.
Sixth place goes to XTB which launched five cryptocurrency CFD pairs in 2017: BTC/USD, ETH/USD, XRP/USD, LTC/USD, and DASH/USD. And in 2018, XTB expanded its crypto CFD offering to 20 crypto pairs, after adding Neo, Tron, Eos, Stellar, IOTA, and Ethereum Classic as base crypto assets.
Our final Best in Class finisher for cryptocurrency is FXOpen, which is unique in that it offers a crypto account, in which balances are denominated in bitcoins, and offers 43 cryptocurrency CFD pairs in total.
Cryptocurrency Risks and Final Thoughts
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.
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.