Founded in 1974, IG is recognised as one of the leading providers of CFD trading. Its parent group, IG group, is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) as an FTSE 250 company. IG provides users with the ability to trade against over 15,000 assets, including forex, commodities, shares, indices, and more recently, cryptocurrencies. It is currently licensed by 7 financial regulators, including the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority).
IG gives you the opportunity to trade CFDs and spread bet over a range of assets, including commodities, shares, forex, indices bonds, and cryptocurrencies. CFD (Contract for Difference) trading and spread betting are both trading strategies that allow for users to trade against the price movements of an asset without owning the underlying asset. These trades are usually leveraged.
Spread betting is usually described as a similar alternative to CFD. It is popular amongst UK and Ireland residents as profits made under spread bets are not taxable under Capital Gains, which is not the case for CFD trades. However, spread betting contracts have fixed expiration dates, unlike CFDs.
You can trade with the following cryptocurrencies:
Before you can deposit money and start to CFD trade or spread bet with IG, you will have to go through the account verification process (outlined in a later section). Once you have done this, you can start to deposit with the following payment methods:
You can make deposits through a wire or bank transfer from a personal account. This type of transfer is free of charge and could take up to 3 working days to register on your account. The maximum amount that you can deposit per transaction is $50,000 (£38,500).
Deposits by card must be a minimum of £250, €300, or $300. The funds should arrive in your account instantly. Non-European debit and credit cards may be charged a surplus 1.5% service fee as well.
These operate the same as regular credit and debit card transfers. You can use service providers such as PayPal.
IG offers both a proprietary web-based platform and mobile platform, which is available for both Android and iOS users. Further, IG also offers experienced users the ability to use the MetaTrader4 (MT4) trading platform, which can be accessed as a desktop app or on a web browser. Effectively, IG supports the following devices:
IG is easy to use, largely due to its website’s clean, simple, and intuitive design. Its proprietary trading platforms allow for simple navigation between different types of assets and trading services. Further, versatile traders can also opt to use the MetaTrader 4 platform, which they might have experience using already. Regardless, any trading platform can look daunting for a first-time trader, so it is especially beneficial that IG provides both educational resources as well as the opportunity to use their demo platform.
Through its global offices that have achieved regulatory compliance around the world, IG is able to provide their services to clients over five continents, including all EU member states. Although their website does not specify all the countries that they support, we have compiled a list of the largest eligible countries below:
IG falls under the regulation of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) within the EU (European Union). This means that its clients are eligible for the £50,000 protection scheme offered by FCA in case IG defaults (although this does not cover you if your trades lose money). Other notable regulatory bodies that IG falls under around the world include the Swiss Financial Markets Supervisory Authority, Japanese Financial Services Authority, Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Dubai Financial Services Authority, and the South African Financial Services Board.
To sign up for an account on IG.com, you will have to first submit personal details such as your full name, phone number, email address, and place of residence. Additionally, due to regulatory compliance, IG requires users to submit documents showing proof of residence (POR) and identity (POI). Verification on the platform is fully digital and you will be required to upload the following documents:
A government-issued ID, valid driver’s license, or passport photo
A utility bill or bank statement dated within the last 6 months, which states your full address.
IG’s customer support team is accessible through phone, email, live chat, and ticket requests, and operates 24 hours a day from 8am on Saturday until 10pm on Friday. UK residents can reach their customer support team by phone (+44 08001953100) and email ([email protected]). Users from other countries can also access their localised support services. Alternatively, users may find that their queries are already answered in their FAQ section on the website.
In regard to its look and feel, IG has created a detailed but easy-to-use platform. When using their proprietary platforms, it is incredibly easy to switch between different types of assets (cryptocurrencies, ETFs, and others), and trading services (CFD trading and spread betting).
First-time users may struggle with looking at a trading interface on their first go, which is why IG has provided an extensive amount of educational resources for users. More experienced users can make use of the MetaTrader 4 compatibility, as well as the ‘Analysis’ section on their websites, which contains an extensive range of thorough financial market analysis.
The cryptocurrency pairs available are:
There are no direct fees attached to transactions made on the IG platform regarding cryptocurrency assets, but users might expect to incur some of these fees when using IG:
A spread is simply the difference between an asset’s buy (bid) and sell (ask) price. The minimum spread is the specific minimum a CFD trader is willing to offer when selling a position over an asset. Instead of trading fees, this is how brokers take a cut from your transactions. Here are the current minimum spreads on the IG platform:
Yes, with CFD trades or spread bets, you can expect to trade with leverages on your cryptocurrency. However, be wary that cryptocurrencies are volatile assets to trade against and thus it is recommended that you trade with the lowest leverages possible to cushion yourself against potential losses in case your trades start going south.
The margin is the minimum amount of money you need to put in in order to open a leveraged trade, so that you only put up a fraction of your exposure when making a trade. As leverages are prone to change, so will the margins. For regular account users, the retail margins are 50% on all cryptocurrency assets. These margins may increase depending on the size of your position.
Yes, you can open long or short positions on IG. A long position is usually opened when you expect for the price of the traded asset to go up in the near future, whereas a short position is opened when you expect prices to fall.
Withdrawal and deposit limits differ by payment method. IG has a daily deposit and withdrawal limit of £20,000 by card. There is also a minimum deposit of £250. On the other hand, through bank transfer or wire transfer, you can deposit up to $50,000 (£38,500) per transaction. Deposits by cheque have no limits. All other limits will be imposed by your own bank.
IG offers a standard range of CFD tradeable cryptocurrency assets among CFD traders. However, they also provide users with the option of going for spread bets as an alternative, which could be highly beneficial to users located in the UK or Ireland due to the potential tax break.
Additionally, users get the option of using IG’s simple and intuitive proprietary trading platform or MetaTrader 4 (MT4), a trading platform common amongst experienced traders. Furthermore, IG provides a lot of free educational and analytical information regarding both the financial markets, as well as how to trade while using the wide variety of trading instruments provided on the IG trading platform.
IG gives you access to real-time news updates from Reuters in order to stay abreast of news regarding the financial markets.
This is an integrated feature on the IG platform, which allows you to view trading signals that have been generated by technical analysis or automated pattern-recognition regarding a particular asset.
This all-in-one platform that works as a separate research portal. This comes in handy to help you in searching for information on cryptocurrencies and other tradeable assets like stocks, commodities, and indices.
IG’s economic calendar helps you search for financial news and events regarding a particular asset, that might help you project where prices will go in the near future. This is available on both the mobile and web platforms.
When it comes to CFD trading, IG comes across as a reputable and professional provider of services. This is largely due to its extensive regulatory compliance around the world, which includes regulation from the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority). Additionally, its parent company IG Group is also a registered company under the LSE (London Stock Exchange).
In regards to cryptocurrency assets, IG offers a standard range of cryptocurrency pairs, but no more than most rivals. It distinguishes itself through its provision of spread betting, a close alternative to CFD trading. Spread betting contracts differ from CFD ones in that they have an explicit expiration date. Furthermore, profits made with spread betting are not considered taxable under Capital Gains. This is why it is a lucrative option for residents in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
IG presents itself as a great site to start off with as a first-time trader, due to the extensive amount of educational and analytical resources that are free and at the user’s disposal. More experienced traders might want to have a look at their professional trader scheme, as well as make use of the MetaTrader 4 platform compatibility. However, users must make sure that they stay on top of their trades, as there is no negative balance protection on IG.
All in all, IG comes across as an ideal, reputable CFD trader that caters to a wide range of traders looking to trade with cryptocurrencies.