Bitcoin has seen phenomenal growth in popularity and value over the last decade. Despite this, Bitcoin is still considered to be in its early stages according to the vision set out by its creator’s.
As well as being an alternative currency for the purchase of goods and services, Bitcoin has also become an instrument for traders looking to make large returns and grow their accounts. Its rapid price increases and volatility have only bolstered that and is even drawing in individuals who have never traded before. Bitcoin has the potential to become a new major world currency and people are investing their money on the hope that it will.
Of course, whether Bitcoin becomes the ‘future of money’ or not isn’t the be all and end all for well-informed traders. Bitcoin certainly has some impressive technology behind it; however, the top priority for traders is simply to profit from its price movements. Traders can look to profit from Bitcoin if it succeeds or if it fails, either way, strong trends are bound to occur.
Where can you trade Bitcoin?
There are basically 2 main options you have for this as a Bitcoin trader, they are:
1 - Cryptocurrency exchange
2 - Online Forex broker
At a cryptocurrency exchange, you will buy and sell actual Bitcoins whereas through a forex broker you will trade a Bitcoin CFD (contract for difference).
I believe that online forex brokers are the best option for trading Bitcoin and will cover this today. I will outline the differences between the two and my reasons for this judgment.
Advantages of trading Bitcoin with a forex broker
Regulation – Reputable forex brokers are fully regulated so you know they have to operate responsibly and with professionalism. They will keep your funds in segregated bank accounts so they are always protected. Cryptocurrency exchanges, on the other hand, are completely unregulated. If a cryptocurrency exchange goes bust or closes down the protection you have may be very limited
Simplicity – This is a big one for me. Setting up a cryptocurrency account and getting started trading is certainly a complicated process, there’s no doubt about that. First, you will need to find an exchange that accepts residents from the country you are from. You then need to find a way to deposit funds into that account, which can be surprisingly difficult. I’ve even heard in some cases that traders will open a new bank account just so they can make deposits into their cryptocurrency exchange account.
What you will find with most traders that use cryptocurrency exchanges is that they have multiple accounts with different exchanges. They then use each account for different reasons. One could be for deposits, one for buying Bitcoin, one for margin trading, and one for short trades and so on.
It’s a totally different story trading Bitcoin with an online forex broker. You can set up an account in minutes if you do not have one already. You can then deposit funds into your account using your preferred currency and any Bitcoin trades you make will be automatically settled back into your chosen currency.
Hidden fees and charges – This leads on nicely from the topic before. With an online forex broker, it’s free to open an account, free to deposit/withdraw your funds and there are no commissions Bitcoin trades. Your only expense when trading Bitcoin through a forex broker is the spread. This makes it much easier for a trader to manage their money and keep track of their expenses.
When using a cryptocurrency exchange there seem to be fees involved every step of the way. You will often pay fees depositing into your account, fees withdrawing, fees exchanging currencies, fees purchasing Bitcoin, fees transferring Bitcoin and commissions on trades. All these different fees can be costly and make keeping track of your expenses a complicated and time-consuming process.
Professional tools and platforms – Trading Bitcoin through an online forex broker will give you access to professional tools and platforms like the award-winning MetaTrader platforms. MetaTrader 4 and 5 allow traders to apply all different kinds of indicators and analysis tools helping to enhance your performance. They also allow you to trade directly from the Bitcoin charts.
The charting tools available on many cryptocurrency exchanges are lower quality with traders often using the exchanges only to place their trades. They will then use separate platforms for their charting and analysis requirements.
Maximum opportunities – Again trading through a cryptocurrency exchange can be complicated if you have certain requirements. Not all cryptocurrency exchanges will allow shorting and some will not provide leverage or margin.
When trading Bitcoin with a forex broker you have access to leverage and margin allowing you to trade at the size you want. You can also trade both long and short on Bitcoin trades enabling you to capture trends in either direction. If you are already a forex trader, staying with a forex broker allows you to keep all your funds in one place and monitor both your forex and Bitcoin trades at the same time.
Cryptocurrency Exchange VS Forex Broker Overview
What the future holds for Bitcoin nobody knows. What we do know is that it’s more than likely going to be eventful. Whether Bitcoin sees further success or eventual failure, opportunities will arise for traders no matter where they decide to trade it. If you are looking to use Bitcoin for purchasing goods and services then this is a different situation to what we’ve covered today. When it comes specifically to Bitcoin trading, I do feel that overall forex brokers currently provide the best, easiest and safest option.