Bitcoin brokers are a great way to buy Bitcoin if you want to avoid traditional cryptocurrency exchanges.
A Bitcoin broker takes care of the process of purchasing BTC for you so that you don’t have to deal with the complexities of the matter.
Throughout this guide, we compare the best Bitcoin brokers out there.
When reviewing a certain broker, we take into account factors like fees, ease of use, regulatory aspects, customer support, and more.
The goal is to compare all of the most important factors so that you can quickly decide which broker is the right one for you.
Bitcoin Brokers Compared
eToro is a fully regulated multi-asset brokerage that has been in operation since 2007. The platform is headquartered in Limassol, Cyprus and currently serves over 10 million customers worldwide.
- Large variety of cryptocurrencies supported
- Simple way to purchase Bitcoin
- No trading fees
- CopyTrading functionality not available in the US
- KYC verification is mandatory
One of eToro’s most prominent features is its social trading platform, which allows traders to copy the trades of other top-ranked traders in real-time.
This feature makes eToro immediately accessible to less experienced traders, as it essentially eliminates the need for market knowledge. That said, it’s important to note that this functionality is currently not available to US citizens.
Being one of the most extensive trading platforms currently in operation, eToro has an incredible arsenal of tools, trading features, and financial instruments to choose form.
Assets available to trade on the platform include ETFs, indices, stocks, and of course, 15 different cryptocurrencies.
Beyond its impressive selection of supported assets, eToro also allows users to trade on margin, with up to 400x leverage available for some assets, though this is limited to just 2x when trading cryptocurrencies. Again, this feature is unfortunately also restricted for US citizens.
eToro does not charge any trading or deposit fees for using the platform, however, it does charge a variable spread which can be as low as 0.75% for Bitcoin (BTC), but can be significantly more for other financial assets.
Getting Started with eToro
After creating an account on eToro you will need to complete identity verification. Once complete, click the large blue ‘Deposit’ button on the bottom left of your screen to top up your account with the funds you will use for trading.
With your account funded, click the ‘Trade Markets’ button in the left sidebar, select the asset you want to trade and click the blue ‘Trade’ button on the top right to open the trading interface where can set your trade specifics.
Easily the most well-known Bitcoin broker, Coinbase is widely recognized as a leading force in the cryptocurrency industry, especially when it comes to onboarding retail customers.
- Extremely user-friendly
- Regulated in the United States
- Good range of supported digital assets
- Mandatory KYC for all accounts
- High fees (minimum 1.49%)
- Coinbase Pro account required for advanced trading features
Arguably one of the simplest platforms for purchasing Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, Coinbase makes investing in cryptocurrency accessible to everyone, regardless of experience.
This simplicity also extends to its Android and iOS apps, both of which have excellent reviews.
Besides its retail Bitcoin broker platform, Coinbase also offers several other products, including Coinbase Pro for advanced cryptocurrency trading and Coinbase Wallet for safely storing cryptocurrency online.
Being designed purely for cryptocurrency, Coinbase offers one of the largest selections of digital assets available anywhere. In total, Coinbase supports 15 different cryptocurrencies, ranging from Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) to less established cryptos like Basic Attention Token (BAT) and Stellar (XLM).
Purchasing Bitcoin on Coinbase will incur a 3.99% fee if paying by credit/debit card, or 1.49% by Bank Transfer.
Getting Started with Coinbase
To purchase Bitcoin on Coinbase you will first need to create an account and complete KYC verification after logging in.
Once verified, simply head over to the ‘Accounts’ area and load your account with funds, before heading over to the ‘Buy/Sell’ section to purchase the cryptocurrency of your choice.
After receiving your cryptocurrency, you will then be able to perform more advanced trades by registering at Coinbase Pro.
The self-described ‘World Trading Machine’, Plus500 is an online trading platform specializing in CFDs. As a CFD Broker, Plus500 allows traders to trade a huge number of different markets, without actually investing in the underlying assets.
- Extremely accessible to beginner traders
- Regulated in a variety of jurisdictions
- Wide range of cryptocurrency CFDs
- $10/month inactivity fee if no logins for 3+ months
- Only 2x leverage available
- Limited customer support options
The supported CFDs by Plus500 include ETFs, shares, options, forex, and cryptocurrencies.
In line with offering such a diverse range of instruments to trade, Plus500 also offers one of the most extensive ranges of cryptocurrency CFDs, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ripple (XRP), Stellar (XLM), EOS and even a cryptocurrency index known as the Crypto 10.
Plus500 isn’t just about offering an extensive selection of CFDs. It also offers a number of features that distinguishes it from the competition, including tight spreads, up to 2x leverage for cryptocurrency CFDs and an impressive array of trading features.
However, what sets Plus500 apart from many other platforms is its accessibility, offering an extremely simple trading experience available on practically any device.
Combine this with its zero fees for deposits, opening/closing trades, and a variety of advanced order types, Plus500 is one of the most capable Bitcoin brokers around.
Getting Started with Plus500
To start trading on Plus500, you will first need to create an account and complete some basic verification steps before deposits are enabled.
After loading your account, you will then be able to begin trading by clicking the ‘Trade’ button, selecting from the list of available instruments, before clicking the buy or sell button to open the order menu. Here, you will be able to set the order specifics and finalize your position.
Billing itself as a ‘premium trading experience’, Markets.com offers several services that will appeal to VIP traders. These include VIP support, access to a team of analysts and market insights to help make trading as simple and profitable as possible.
- Excellent customer support
- Market insights make trading easier
- Up to 5x leverage available for crypto assets
- Requires personal information before trading is activated
- $10/month inactivity fee after 3 months of no trading
- High fees
In total, there are more than 2,200 different assets available to trade on Markets.com, these include currencies, indices, shares, and ETFs.
Beyond this, six different cryptocurrency CFDs are open for trading on Markets.com, including Bitcoin (BTC), Dash (DASH) and Ethereum (ETH).
Markets.com features advanced charting tools, a wide variety of indicators and order options including take profit and stop-loss parameters. Beyond the standard trading tools, Markets.com also offers analyst recommendations, access to breaking news and moment it goes live and regularly scheduled shows.
Depending on the type of account opened, markets.com clients can trade with up to 300x leverage depending on the underlying instrument. Retail clients can trade cryptocurrencies with up to 2x leverage, while this is increased to 5x for professional users.
Compared to many other Bitcoin Brokers, Markets.com doesn’t offer the best fees, particularly when it comes to margin financing. However, since the platform is aimed at VIP traders, this is to be expected.
Getting Started with Markets.com
To begin purchasing or trading Bitcoin you will first need to create an account and answer a brief questionnaire about your trading knowledge and finances before you can deposit.
Once you complete registration, you will be prompted to top up your account by credit card or wire transfer. Once complete, you will be able to begin trading by selecting an asset on the left bar, selecting ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ on the top right, before entering your order specifics and clicking Place Order to submit.
WCX is a platform that allows customers to trade a variety of CFDs across a range of asset classes. Despite launching in just 2017, WCX has already racked up an impressive 100,000+ customers worldwide.
- Trade BTC risk-free with a demo account
- Very low spreads
- Large number of available financial assets
- KYC is mandatory for all accounts
- Being launched in 2017, the platform isn’t as battle-tested as others
- No mobile application
On WCX, traders can trade over 100 markets with up to 300x leverage and access several advanced trading features including take profit and stop-loss options.
Unlike some of the other options on this list, WCX is a bitcoin-funded derivatives trading platform, it is not a cryptocurrency exchange.
This brings with it several advantages, including 0% trading fees, guaranteed liquidity and the ability to trade a variety of other financial instruments using Bitcoin.
However, though WCX doesn’t charge any overt trading, deposit or withdrawal fees, it does charge a spread, though this is extremely competitive.
Beyond this, WCX is one of just a handful of Bitcoin brokers to offer full insurance over user funds, providing a sense of security that is rarely matched.
As of writing, WCX does not have a dedicated mobile app, but the website is mobile-optimized, ensuring it can be easily used via any mobile web browser.
Getting Started with WCX
Trading on WCX first requires you to create an account by providing your name, email address, and a password.
Once registered, you will need to complete KYC before you can deposit BTC. Once complete, you will be able to select the instrument to trade under the ‘New Trade’ tab, below which you will be able to set your leverage before clicking buy or sell to open the order.
SimpleFX is an online CFD trading platform operating out of the Grenadines. Despite launching in just 2014, SimpleFX has managed to become one of the most popular Bitcoin brokers around, reaching more than 200,000 customers in 160+ countries.
- Social trading features make SimpleFX accessible to beginners
- Anonymous Bitcoin accounts available
- User-friendly mobile apps
- High spreads for some assets
- Cryptocurrency withdrawals are free, but Neteller withdrawals have an expensive 3% fee.
- Reports of poor customer support
As it stands, SimpleFX features a relatively modest selection of cryptocurrencies, with just six available to trade on the platform against the US Dollar (USD).
That said, it does feature an extensive range of alternative financial instruments available to trade, including forex, precious metals, commodities, and equities.
Thanks to its expansive selection of available assets, SimpleFX best suits those looking to develop a diverse investment portfolio, taking advantage of several different asset types.
SimpleFX is also one of the few trading platforms to offer up to 500x leverage for some financial instruments, however, this is limited to 5x leverage for Bitcoin trades.
The platform also doesn’t have any commission or trading fees but doesn’t have the best spreads either.
The exchange can also be accessed via its native Android and iOS mobile apps. These have an extremely simple user interface making it easy to trade on the go.
Getting Started with SimpleFX
Registering an account on SimpleFX is a simple process requiring just an email address and password.
Depending on which financial assets you want to trade, you may need to complete KYC before you can deposit. Once complete, you will be able to trade by selecting the requisite asset and clicking the ‘New order’ button at the bottom of the page.
Operated by Rodeler Limited and authorized and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission, 24Option is a highly reputed forex, CFD and cryptocurrency broker that has been around since 2010.
- No trading fees
- Huge range of supported assets, not just cryptocurrencies
- Free demo account
- No crypto/crypto pairs
- Inactivity fee charged after 2 months without trading
- Relatively high spread for low equity accounts
Despite being one of the lesser-known Bitcoin brokers, 24Option provides a well-featured service that is suitable for both less experienced and expert traders. The broker doesn’t charge any trading fees but does charge a spread between 2.8 to 1.1 PIPS depending on your account type.
That being said, 24Option does charge an inactivity fee if there are no trades for more than 2 months, plus a 10 EUR monthly maintenance fee.
As it stands, 24Option supports a handful of the most popular cryptocurrencies, most of which are paired against fiat currencies including GBP, EUR, and USD. Supported cryptocurrencies include Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and Ripple
Besides this, 24Option is also one of the few Bitcoin brokers to offer a free demo feature, giving traders $100,000 of virtual money which can be used to practice trading and get a feel for using 24Option.
The platform also supports a large range of deposit options and features an extremely user-friendly trading interface, while its mobile app makes it easily accessible on the go.
Getting Started with 24Option
To begin trading on 24Option, you will first need to create an account after which you’ll need to provide some personal details and fund your account using one of the available options.
Once your account is funded, simply head over the to ‘Trade’ section, select the trading pair on the left, enter the trade parameters and click buy/sell to execute the trade.
How to choose the best Bitcoin broker
Although there are many legitimate Bitcoin brokers out there, you might also stumble upon one that can cost you a lot of time and money due to their poor service.
Hence, to avoid that problem, keep the following factors in mind when choosing a Bitcoin broker.
- Simple and fast account set-up: Your Bitcoin broker should offer a fast and streamlined account set-up process. This part can be hard to judge based on the homepage of the Bitcoin broker, so make sure to read Bitcoin broker reviews like this one and experiences of the broker’s clients on social media. If many people complain about the Bitcoin broker requiring a lot of information to set-up an account or about an application process that takes multiple days, consider looking for alternatives.
- Low fees and spreads: Needless to say, a Bitcoin broker must not only offer an excellent service but also do so at a reasonable price. While most brokers are very transparent with the trading fees or commissions they charge, the same may not be true for “spreads” the Bitcoin broker may charge. So, before setting up an account, make sure that you are familiar with the fee structure and that it is attractive for you.
- Look for licensed Bitcoin brokers: If somebody claims to be a Bitcoin broker but does not have a proper broker license, then that is a big red flag. Before opening an account with a broker, double-check that the broker has all the required licenses to conduct the business. When in doubt, it’s often better not to take a chance and simply look for a different broker.
- Leverage and many order types: If you are a professional trader or investor, then you might need leverage or specific order types for your strategy. Make sure that the Bitcoin broker you are planning to work with offers these functionalities.
Advantages of a Bitcoin broker
Making use of a Bitcoin broker vs a traditional Bitcoin exchange comes with many advantages for investors. Let’s explore the 3 main ones.
- Reduced counterparty risk: Many exchanges in the current Bitcoin exchange landscape are often regulated in offshore locations that make a potential legal prosecution a complicated feat. This is a significant counterparty risk since if the exchange was to be hacked or decides to run away with its users’ funds, it can be hard for the average investor to recover that money. Counterparty risk is significantly reduced by making use of a fully regulated Bitcoin broker like eToro or Markets.com.
- Reduced regulatory risk: If you stick to Bitcoin brokers that are fully licensed, then you also minimize potential legal risk. This is especially important if you represent a fund that trades with client money. When using an unregulated exchange and it is hacked and you lose your client’s funds, you may be exposed to legal risk.
- Often simple to use: Since Bitcoin brokers handle the purchase and sale of physical Bitcoins for you, they are often significantly easier to use than regular Bitcoin exchanges.
Disadvantages of a Bitcoin broker
Although Bitcoin brokers are superior to cryptocurrency exchanges in some aspects, they certainly do not win in all of them.
Now that we covered some of the advantages of Bitcoin brokers, it’s also important to touch on the downsides.
- Often higher fees than Bitcoin exchanges: Since Bitcoin brokers offer an actual service, which consists in buying or selling Bitcoin for you, the fees are usually higher than if you use a Bitcoin exchange where you buy the coins directly yourself.
- Not available in all jurisdictions: On the contrary to regular Bitcoin exchanges, which are often registered in offshore jurisdictions that enable them to serve as many clients as possible, licensed Bitcoin brokers must stick to significantly more strict regulations and are hence often not available in many countries.
- Extensive identity verification process: Again, due to the regulated nature of Bitcoin brokers they also usually require extensive identity verification. Don’t be surprised if, in addition to scanned copies of an ID document, a Bitcoin broker also asks you from details on your income and written proof of your residence.
Difference between a cryptocurrency broker and Bitcoin broker
When trying to understand the difference between a cryptocurrency broker and a Bitcoin broker, it’s important to understand the difference between the two assets.
There are approximately about 3,000 cryptocurrencies out there, and excluding Bitcoin and a handful of major cryptocurrencies, the majority have very low trading volume and questionable legitimacy.
In many cryptocurrencies, a $100k sell order could crash the price by 50%, and there have also been many cases of cryptocurrencies that turned up to be frauds and that lost most of their value just days after.
Hence, due to regulatory reasons, it is very challenging for a licensed broker to offer most of these cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin.
If you are planning to buy small-cap cryptocurrencies, you will be forced to make use of regular cryptocurrency exchanges in most cases since reputable brokers do not offer them.
Alexander has worked in community growth for multiple cryptocurrency companies. He is now the Sales and Operations Manager for CoinDiligent. In his free time, he writes articles sharing his industry insights. You can get in touch with Alexander on LinkedIn.