A well-liked on-line brokerage abruptly curbed buying and selling in cryptocurrencies simply as bitcoin hit a document excessive, catching buyers in one of many hottest corners of the market off guard.
EToro, an Israel-based digital buying and selling platform with international operations, informed clients in Europe late Friday they needed to shut all margin buying and selling in cryptocurrencies in a matter of hours, in accordance with the corporate. Margin trades use borrowed cash to amplify investments.
The order got here as bitcoin approached an all-time excessive of $41,962 on Friday, after greater than tripling in 2020. Over the weekend, the world’s main cryptocurrency went in reverse, shedding round 1 / 4 of its worth and traded at $34,184 on Monday, in accordance with knowledge from CoinDesk.
The transfer by eToro reveals the topsy-turvy world of cryptocurrencies, the place fast worth swings—typically with little or no catalyst—can shock buyers and brokerages that cater to them. With margin buying and selling, as an asset’s worth will increase, buyers can improve their leverage, but in addition expose themselves and the brokerage to losses within the case of fast pullback in costs.
The net brokerage stated it had seen a frenzy of cryptocurrency activity in current weeks. It added about 200,000 new registered customers within the first week of the yr, throughout which its platform noticed a number of days of cryptocurrency buying and selling volumes that had been at 10 occasions the common of final yr.