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Bitcoin Futures Trading at TD Ameritrade

Bitcoin futures trading is here

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Bitcoin futures trading is available at TD Ameritrade. Quotes and trading capabilities for these futures products are available on our thinkorswim platform and TD Ameritrade Mobile Trader app.

What is bitcoin?

Bitcoin is a digital currency, also known as a cryptocurrency, and is created or mined when people solve complex math puzzles online. These bitcoins are then stored in a digital wallet that exists on the cloud or the user’s computer. Because bitcoins are not housed in bank accounts, brokerage, or futures accounts, they are not insured by the FDIC or SIPC.


Virtual currencies, including bitcoin, experience significant price volatility. Fluctuations in the underlying virtual currency's value between the time you place a trade for a virtual currency futures contract and the time you attempt to liquidate it will affect the value of your futures contract and the potential profit and losses related to it. Investors must be very cautious and monitor any investment that they make.

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How can I trade bitcoin futures at TD Ameritrade?

To get started, you first need to open a TD Ameritrade account and indicate that you plan to actively trade. There are certain qualifications and permissions required on your account for Cboe Futures Exchange, LLC (CFE) bitcoin futures trading (/XBT)SM, including:


  • Margin enabled
  • Tier 2 spread option approval
  • Advanced features enabled
  • Futures trading approval
  • Account minimum of $25,000

Once you are approved to trade futures, you still need access to /XBT to add bitcoin trading to your account. To request access, contact the Futures Desk at 866-839-1100.


Please note that the TD Ameritrade margin requirement for bitcoin futures products is 1.5 times higher than the exchange margin requirements, and is subject to change without notice.


Funds must be fully cleared in your account before they can be used to trade any futures contracts, including bitcoin futures. ACH and Express Funding methods require up to four business days for deposits to clear. Wire transfers are cleared the same business day.


While futures products still carry unique and often significant risks, they can potentially provide a more regulated and stable environment to provide some exposure to bitcoin as a commodity as well. You should carefully consider whether trading in bitcoin futures is appropriate for you in light of your experience, objectives, financial resources, and other relevant circumstances.


Please note that virtual currency is a digital representation of value that functions as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, or a store of value, but it does not have legal tender status. Virtual currencies are sometimes exchanged for U.S. dollars or other currencies around the world, but they are not currently backed nor supported by any government or central bank. Their value is completely derived by market forces of supply and demand, and they are more volatile than traditional fiat currencies. Profits and losses related to this volatility are amplified in margined futures contracts.

FAQs

I want to trade bitcoin futures. Can I be enabled right now?

As with any futures product, trading bitcoin futures (/XBT) at TD Ameritrade requires futures approval on your account.

  • If you are a client who is already approved to trade futures at TD Ameritrade, please contact our Futures Desk at 866-839-1100 or email us to request access to trade /XBT.
  • If you have an account with us but are not approved to trade futures, you first need to request futures trading privileges. Be sure to check that you have the right permissions and meet funding requirements on your account before you apply. Please note that the approval process may take 1-2 business days. Once you have been granted futures approval, contact the Futures Desk at 866-839-1100 or email us to request access to /XBT.
  • If you don’t have an account at TD Ameritrade, you need to open an account and select that you plan to actively trade during the sign-up process. You will need to request that margin and options trading be added to your account before you can apply for futures. Please keep in mind that the full process may take 5-6 business days. Once you have been granted futures approval, contact the Futures Desk at 866-839-1100 or email us to request access to /XBT.

How can I check my account for qualifications and permissions?

To ensure you meet the requirements to trade futures, you can check by viewing your account settings under Client Services > General > Elections & Routing, or by contacting us at 866-839-1100.

Am I able to trade bitcoin?

At this time, TD Ameritrade does not provide the ability to trade or hold bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies directly in TD Ameritrade accounts, and does not provide access to bitcoin/cryptocurrency exchange networks. We offer the ability to trade bitcoin futures contracts, much like we offer futures contracts for gold, corn, crude oil, etc.

Three reasons to trade futures at TD Ameritrade

Advanced Technology

Our thinkorswim platform is a premier derivatives trading platform for serious futures traders.

24/7 Support

Get live help from traders with hundreds of years of combined experience.

Straightforward Pricing

Fair pricing with no hidden fees or complicated pricing structures.

Learn more

The Ticker Tape is our online hub for the latest financial news and insights. Here are a few suggested articles about bitcoin:

 

For additional information on bitcoin, we recommend visiting the CFTC virtual currency resource center.

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