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Interactive Brokers to offer crypto trading by the end of summer

Interactive Brokers Group Inc (IBKR.O) plans to begin offering cryptocurrency trading through its brokerage within a few months, the company’s chairman said on Wednesday.

“Customers are asking for it and we expect to be ready to offer it to them by the end of the summer,” Interactive Brokers founder and chairman Thomas Peterffy said at a conference held by Piper Sandler.

Investors, both retail and institutional, have poured into bitcoin and other digital assets in 2021. Bitcoin’s price has soared to above $34,000 from the $9,000 in June of 2020. The price of bitcoin has experienced wild volatility recently due to headlines on a China crackdown, Elon Musk and investors taking excessive risks.

The price of bitcoin rose 6% to the $34,890 level on Wednesday, after falling on Tuesday which may be related to concerns over security of the cryptocurrency after U.S. officials managed to recover most of the ransom paid to hackers that targeted colonial Pipeline. Currently, Interactive Brokers offers the trading of Bitcoin futures on its platform.

Peterffy did not say which cryptocurrencies would be available to trade, but the New York-based brokerage began offering bitcoin futures in December 2017.

The biggest hurdle to offering crypto-trading has been ensuring Interactive Brokers can keep its customers’ digital coins safe, Peterffy added.

“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,” he said.

Source: Reuters, CNBC