E*Trade crypto: trading Shiba Inu, Ripple, Stellar, Cardano, Dogecoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin, and Litecoin alt coins cryptocurrencies.

Can You Buy Crypto on E*Trade?

With an E*Trade brokerage account, it is possible to gain exposure to cryptocurrency movements. We’re going to show you how to do this using multiple techniques. We’re also going to suggest one final method to trade digital currencies directly.

Crypto Funds at E*Trade

Although it’s not possible to trade cryptocurrencies on the U.S. stock exchanges, it is possible to trade ETF’s on those exchanges. Today, there are several exchange-traded funds that invest one way or another in digital currencies.

One exciting new entrant is XBTF, the VanEck Bitcoin Strategy Fund. Launched in 2021, this new ETF invests in bitcoin futures contracts. It does not hold any stocks or bonds like a lot of ETF’s do. But XBTF is an ETF, so it trades just like a stock.

etrade Crypto

Although E*Trade does not offer fractional-share trading, one share of XBTF is just $43 right now. The fund tracks the performance of bitcoin’s spot price fairly closely. The average daily volume of XBTF is just north of 34,000 shares, which is a little low.

etrade bitcoin

A second ETF that is investing in the cryptocurrency market is BLCN, the Siren Nasdaq NexGen Economy Fund. Instead of buying and selling crypto contracts, BLCN trades equities of companies that are investing heavily in blockchain technology. The blockchain is the digital ledger that cryptocurrency transactions must have. Some of the larger companies in BLCN include Microsoft, AMD, and Accenture.

On E*Trade’s website, BLCN shows a Morningstar rating of 3 stars out of 5. Unlike the VanEck fund, BLCN does pay a dividend. The current yield is around 0.62%, which is more than most online savings accounts are paying right now.

On E*Trade’s profile of BLCN, there is a list of similar funds with Morningstar ratings. E*Trade also presents numerous trade details of the ETF.

E*Trade’s pricing schedule is in line with other broker-dealers today, which means trades of ETF’s are free.

Crypto Stocks at E*Trade

If you’re ready for the increased level of risk that individual stocks inherently carry, there are some companies that are engaged quite extensively in cryptocurrency activities.

One, for example, is Block, Inc. This company rebranded from Square, Inc., to better reflect its new focus on blockchain technology. Besides this computerized transaction register, Block is also developing new hardware and software systems to mine bitcoin. The mining process is required to create more coins.

etrade Cryptocurrency

Block trades on the New York Stock Exchange with ticker symbol SQ. On E*Trade’s website, we found lots of analyst reports on the company. Many of them grade the stock a buy. These analysts include Argus and TipRanks. MarketGrader has a sell rating on SQ based on technical data. Reports are available on the E*Trade website and mobile app.

The mining activity mentioned above requires a lot of sophisticated hardware. That’s where Nvidia comes in. The company manufactures some of the world’s most reliable graphics processing units (GPU’s). These devices are key hardware components in the mining process.

Nvidia’s stock trades on the Nasdaq with the ticker symbol NVDA. Unlike Block, Nvidia pays a quarterly dividend. Research reports on the GPU manufacturer from E*Trade’s website show a mixed review.

As with ETF’s, commissions on stocks at E*Trade are $0.

Options on Crypto Funds and Stocks

Leverage is available on the above stocks and ETF’s by way of option contracts. E*Trade offers options trading with some powerful software tools, including its desktop program Pro. The brokerage firm’s website itself has some really good derivative tools, including a probability calculator, chains, an income finder, an analyzer, a screener, and more.

During our investigation, we found tons of contracts on many of the crypto stocks and funds mentioned in this article. For example, there were close to 100,000 contracts for Nvidia just in the front month.

All of E*Trade’s software platforms include user-friendly trading tools for options. Multi-leg strategies are integrated, so it’s easy to trade them.

The brokerage house charges no base fee for option trades, although there is a per-contract fee of 65 cents (50 cents for active traders).

Crypto Futures Contracts at E*Trade

If securities trading just isn’t your thing, E*Trade also offers futures trading. Currently, E*Trade has every crypto contract that trades on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Here they are:

/MBTCME Micro Bitcoin Futures
/BTCCME Bitcoin Futures
/ETHCME Ether Futures
/METCME Micro Ether Futures

All crypto contracts are cash-settled, meaning that you can’t take delivery of actual cryptocurrencies.

To get started trading futures at E*Trade, you will of course need to open and fund an actual futures account. It is separate from securities accounts, and speaking of securities accounts, you do have to have one to apply for a futures account at E*Trade. It is possible to open a futures IRA.

Futures quotes from CME Group and CFE are free for non-professionals at E*Trade. Fees for ICE quotes are passed on to the account holder. E*Trade does have a $1,000 account equity requirement to access these data packages.

Futures trades at E*Trade are placed on Power, the broker’s very nice browser platform. Just enter the ticker symbols noted above (using a forward slash) and select the expiration month and year you want from the drop-down list of choices. If you don’t see the month and year you want, you may need to enter them manually. Power E*Trade is also available as a mobile app.

Because these are futures contracts, it is possible to day trade them without any PTD restrictions. And it’s possible to take short positions on crypto contracts.

Cryptocurrency contracts at E*Trade are $2.50 a piece on either side, plus exchange fees. Note that this commission is a dollar higher than other futures contracts.

Direct Crypto Trading at Webull

Although E*Trade provides a lot of ways to tap into the cryptocurrency space, one method it doesn’t offer is direct trading of coins. For this final method, we recommend Webull.

At Webull, it is possible to trade actual coins, and the brokerage firm now offers quite a few of them. Examples include:

  • Bitcoin
  • Bitcoin Cash
  • Ethereum
  • Dogecoin
  • Sushi
  • Curve DAO Token
  • Stella Lumens

In total, there are over 50 coins.

Webull Crypto Trading

The same software Webull customers use to place trades for securities can be used to place trades for digital currencies. Like stocks and ETF’s, cryptos have ticker symbols. Bitcoin’s is famously BTC, while Avalanche’s is AVAX.

Crypto orders at Webull can be submitted in whole dollars or whole coins. The minimum trade amount is just $1.

Webull has three trading platforms. The mobile app is the most, well, mobile. Despite being an app, there are many powerful trading tools on it, including some really great charting tools. Of particular importance is the app’s social networking dimension. It is the only platform where Webull clients can connect with each other and discuss crypto and other investing news.

The other two trading platforms are the desktop and browser programs. These two are pretty similar, although the desktop system has a few extra features. One is a Learning Center that offers some self-help features for learning the software.

On any of the three platforms, a crypto trade must be placed as either a market or limit order. The latter will be automatically set to day for the duration, while the former order type has only immediate or cancel as the time in force.

Crypto prices on Webull’s software (including charts) are mid prices. This means the prices are not trade prices. Rather, they are the half-way point between a bid and an ask price.

Webull does offer paper trading on all three of its software platforms, but unfortunately, cryptocurrencies cannot be traded in this mode.

It’s really easy to work with cryptocurrencies on any of Webull’s platforms. They function pretty much just like stocks and ETF’s. A coin can be added to a watchlist (one watchlist can be created solely for cryptos if desired), and multiple alerts can be created for digital currencies as well.

During our probing, we found news articles on crypto profiles. Here are some examples:

- Dogecoin Showing 3 Key Bullish Patterns: A Shot At 20 Cents May Be Next - Benzinga
- CFTC Chair Asks Congress for Authority to Regulate Some Cryptocurrencies - Dow Jones
- Head of U.S. derivatives regulator urges key crypto role for agency - Reuters

Some news articles have an audio format.

The cost of trading coins directly at Webull is pretty reasonable. There is zero commission and a built-in spread of 100 basis points.

Webull Promotion

Open WeBull Account

Trading Crypto Products Over-the-Counter at E*Trade

E*Trade provides access to the over-the-counter marketplace, and here will be found another large selection of investment vehicles.

One in particular is the Osprey Bitcoin Trust. Trading on the Pink Sheets with ticker symbol OBTC, the fund has an expense ratio of just 49 basis points. This makes the Osprey Bitcoin Trust the cheapest U.S.-based Bitcoin fund.

OBTC can be held inside a retirement or taxable account. Fidelity Digital Assets is the custodian of the fund.

Although OBTC trades in the over-the-counter marketplace, and this of course carries increased hazards, the advantage of the trust is that it holds actual bitcoin instead of futures contracts.

E*Trade’s generous no-commission pricing schedule unfortunately does not apply to OTC orders. The brokerage house charges $6.95 for every over-the-counter trade. Frequent traders get a $2 discount.

Benefits of Direct Crypto Trading Over Other Approaches

Although exposure to the methods of crypto trading available at E*Trade certainly can be justified, direct trading seems to have the most benefits.

First is the low minimum investment amount. Because E*Trade doesn’t offer fractional-share trading, its services simply can’t compete with Webull’s $1 minimum trade amount.

Also, cryptocurrencies trade around the clock, which is a huge advantage over securities that are linked to digital coins. These assets are only available when other securities are trading. But cryptos can be traded anytime, 24/7 (Webull has a one-hour break each day for software updates).

A third justification for buying and selling actual coins is the settlement period. Any trade placed before 8:15 pm, EST, settles the next day. Plus, proceeds are available immediately for more trading.

A fourth advantage that direct crypto trading has over some of the other methods discussed above is cost. Many of the crypto funds have high expense ratios. Cryptocurrencies, of course, have no expense ratios. A 100-point spread will be cheaper in some cases than trading crypto funds, which themselves have bid-ask spreads (plus the management fees). Because options have per-contract fees at E*Trade, this method too may be more expensive than direct crypto trading at Webull.

E*Trade Crypto Summary

E*Trade offers many avenues to gain exposure to the growing cryptocurrency market, but the most enticing is unavailable.

Updated on 2/17/2022.


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