Swiss bank Swissquote is the first online bank to launch Bitcoin trading. The company is pioneering a new product for the brokerage industry, choosing to launch trading in the virtual currency without leverage. Clients of the Swiss brokerage will be able to exchange euros and US dollars into Bitcoin using their trading accounts.
The lack of leverage in Swissquote’s offering represents a great alternative to unregulated exchanges for clients of the Swiss brokerage. Demand for trading cryptocurrencies has been slowly picking up amongst retail traders in recent months. As the popularity of the new asset class has been growing, several retail brokers have started offering CFDs on Bitcoin.
Swissquote has chosen to take a conservative approach in terms of leverage and has opted to partner with Luxembourg-based cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp. The Swiss company highlights that Bitstamp is the first and only licensed Bitcoin exchange operating in the European Union.
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Clients of Swissquote will be able to trade sizes varying from 5 units of base currency to a minimum of 100,000 EUR or USD. The trading fees vary between 0.5 and 1 percent of the transaction’s value, depending on the total amount that is invested.
Commenting on the news, the CEO of the Swiss brokerage, Marc Bürki, said: “Many investors are interested in cryptocurrencies, but are afraid to trade them. The players in this market are mostly little known and require a transfer of funds to a foreign account.”
“As a Swiss bank we offer our clients a simplified, transparent process, without foreign transfers, that is within reach of everybody,” Bürki explains.
Swissquote’s solution is coming at a time when clients are getting increasingly interested in trading cryptocurrencies outside of Bitcoin. The Swiss brokerage’s offering in the area could well continue to grow provided that there is enough demand from clients.