Interactive Brokers Allows Long-Only Bitcoin Futures Trading (At 50% Margin)

Following the 'successful' launch of Bitcoin futures overnight, Interactive Brokers - whose founder had been adamantly against the CME/CBOE product over risk concerns - has enabled clients to trade the crypto-craziness on its platform... but with some notable constraints.

Interactive Brokers began offering clients the ability to trade bitcoin futures at the start of trading on the Cboe Futures Exchange (CFE) on Sunday night, December 10th, 2017.

“Interactive Brokers was on the buy side of the low print of 14,710,” said Thomas Peterffy, founder, Chairman and CEO of Interactive Brokers.


“A Registered Investment Advisor on the Interactive Brokers platform purchased two March contracts in the first minute of trading.”

However, as Interactive Brokers explains, there are some notable constraints...

Due to the extreme volatility of cryptocurrencies, clients will be unable to assume a short position.


In addition, only limit orders will be accepted.


IBKR’s margin requirement on long positions will be at least 50%.


The company will continue to monitor concerns surrounding the market's ability to process bitcoin futures risk.

Billionaire crypto fund manager Mike Novogratz was on tape this morning, speaking positively about the launch of Bitcoin futures,

“The market trades like it wants to go up, not down...We are in a speculative mania and my sense is we are still fairly early.”

For now, Bitcoin futures prices are holding their gains, outperforming spot Bitcoin and spot Gold...


shamus001 RAT005 Mon, 12/11/2017 - 12:06 Permalink

Correct U R! First off, no short- long only = no market. (Just like China) however after funneling in a TON of longs, when theyre all in, sitting around smiling at one another...waiting for more growth, the short sale will be released, and the BANKS will swoop in and massacre the people!

In reply to by RAT005

francis scott … Automatic Choke Mon, 12/11/2017 - 19:40 Permalink

Think about it.  A long only market.  Waiting for someone to buy. Wait!Some Greater Fool ( e.g. Yellow Snow) wakes up and decides to buy a couple more contracts.Word gets out. Scores of limousines line up at his front door.  Have brunch on us in Monaco.  We'll fly you there.  No, No, says another let us buy you a house on your own island near Tasmania;you can by your bitcoin futures there. This is what some early investors in bitcom will start to do to reduce their positions.

In reply to by Automatic Choke

RAT005 shamus001 Mon, 12/11/2017 - 12:18 Permalink

It's long only at this broker.  In theory when the contract limit order is filled at the CBOE exchange there will be someone on the short side.  One question is if that someone is real?  The exchange can't naked short like gold/silver because there is no delivery but the exchange can take fake positions, kind of rehypothicating trades.  The exchange is not collecting fees in December so this should be a pretty honest month.

In reply to by shamus001

RAT005 chomu Mon, 12/11/2017 - 12:06 Permalink

You don't understand, because they are not deliverable is why TPTB are having so much trouble adding their cart to the train.  Without being able to claim delivery, they have no pricing influence.  And that is the way everyone outside of TPTB want to keep it.

In reply to by chomu

RAT005 ZH Snob Mon, 12/11/2017 - 12:30 Permalink

Because of the block-chain, the exchange cannot claim to have BTC that they don't have.  Without BTC, they can't claim to make delivery.  If they can't deliver they can't rehypothicate and they can't naked short.  I think the CBOE is just trying to collect fees on the side and maybe divert a little bit of long money out of BTC and into the futures.  TPTB are not ever going to have pricing control over BTC but there are other ways they can attack people's interest and confidence in owning BTC.

In reply to by ZH Snob

RAT005 Running_Trillion Mon, 12/11/2017 - 12:08 Permalink

Interactive Brokers does not care about volatility, they care about customer defaults.  They don't trust customers to be able to manage themselves on the short side so they won't enable customers to go short.  Interactive Brokers is not trying to support Bitcoin though it would be fun to later learn that many of their executives own bitcoin and that is why they won't facilitate the short side :-)

In reply to by Running_Trillion

LawsofPhysics Mon, 12/11/2017 - 12:01 Permalink

The only reason a company or a bank would offer a one sided trade can be explained simply. They want/need to get out of a very specific position. Send in the clowns!!!  Also known as the "greater fools"."Full Faith and Credit"

Ben A Drill Mon, 12/11/2017 - 12:15 Permalink

Lawsuit! Just like not being able to buy 3x ETF's, only allowed to sell. Bullshit. Who the fuck decides what I can and cannot buy.

Wells Fargo did that to me trading NUGT. I WANT MY $3000.00 back.

Thethingreenline Mon, 12/11/2017 - 12:55 Permalink

This sucker going to moon!
Sold mothers GE and GM stocks and put all into BTC. Surprise her when it doubles over next few months!
TTGL almost doubled since he got in after sale of his mining shares.