U.S. brokerage firm Interactive Brokers will offer direct cryptocurrency trading to clients “by the end of the summer”, Chairman and CEO Thomas Peterffy announced. Currently, the online brokerage company offers Bitcoin futures trading on its platform.
Interactive Brokers Group Inc is slated to start trading cryptocurrencies on its platform through its brokerage in the coming months, the company's chairman said on 9th June.
Speaking at the Piper Sandler Global Exchange & FinTech Conference, Chairman and CEO Thomas Peterffy revealed on entering the crypto market, saying:
“Customers certainly are asking for (crypto trading) and we expect to be ready to offer it to them by the end of the summer.”
The chairman did not specify which cryptocurrencies will be made available for trading but the company currently offers bitcoin futures trading on its platform.
The biggest hurdle to offering crypto trading services is ensuring how to keep customer’s digital funds safe, according to Peterffy.
“As for hurdles, the greatest hurdle is how do you keep you, customers, 100% safe. Think about it, How do you make it 100% sure that no one will steal their coins in spite of the fact that they are untraceable. We will find out more about this when we open for business at the end of the summer.” he added.
Interactive Brokers offering cryptocurrency services could distinguish the company from rivals like Charles Schwab and Fidelity which are yet to offer any crypto trading services but do provide access to cryptocurrency funds.
In addition to crypto services, brokerage firms offer trading of a variety of assets such as stocks, options, futures, bonds, and funds. As of 2019, the company’s equity value totaled almost $8 billion.
Based on the latest quarterly figures, Interactive Brokers had 1.33 million customer accounts and $330.6 billion in customer equity.