Trading with Crypto Exchanges and Crypto CFDs: Which is Better?

CFD could be a very foreign word for a crypto trader, but for traditional market traders, it is one of the most useful assets to trade with on different markets. CFD is an abbreviation for Contracts for Difference, which are basically assets that help you “buy a price” and not the asset itself. It may sound a bit confusing, but it is still quite easy to understand once you know the basics.

The primary difference between actual cryptos and crypto CFDs is the ownership. Meaning that when you are trading on a crypto exchange, you are using actual cryptocurrencies. But when you are trading crypto CFDs on a CFD broker’s platform, you are trading with the contract, meaning that you don’t actually own cryptos. Immediately it should spark some controversy as to why you should even consider such a trade, so let’s check out the advantages and disadvantages.

Crypto CFDs are exclusive to CFD or Forex brokers. These companies are able to offer leverage on these assets, which is the primary reason why they are so attractive. For example, if I go to this CFD broker and engage in a $100 trade for BTC CFDs, I can then use a leverage of 1:100. Basically what that leverage does is increase the volume of my trade by 100, meaning I can now trade with $10,000 instead of $100. This, in the end, may earn me more than I would with my own assets. Basically, the broker lends you funds in order to increase your trades and thus your profits as well. Crypto exchanges rarely have this feature, which is why CFDs are not as well known among the crypto community.

Liquidity is also an advantage of crypto CFDs because they can be sold for fiat currencies, making them a lot more valuable.

Another small advantage is the lack of a crypto wallet, as there is no need for one. Therefore traders have all of their assets on one single platform, which helps the logistics. Unfortunately, this is where the advantages end and massive disadvantages begin.

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Leveraging can be a double-edged sword. Although leveraging can offer bigger profits, it can also lead to massive losses, which may cause the trader to fall into debt with the broker. If you ever decide to engage in a crypto CFD trade with leverage, make sure to set a stop-loss on a point where you have half of your initial investment left. So if you invested $100 and got 1:100 leverage, you would have to set the stop loss at somewhere around $9,950 to avoid a complete zero-out of your account.

Another disadvantage is that CFD trades have deadlines. This means that when you place an order, that order will expire in a few days or so. This renders long-term investments completely useless. You could technically still do it, but the over-night fees for maintaining the position would just make it unprofitable. The over-night position is as it sounds, a position that lasts more than 24 hours, and it is usually accompanied by a fee.

Another disadvantage is that you don’t actually own cryptocurrencies, meaning that you cannot allocate them anywhere you like. For example, let’s say that there is a service that is only available in Bitcoin or Ethereum; you would not be able to pay with a Bitcoin or Ethereum CFD, because they are not real cryptos. Furthermore, the allocation may become a problem as a broker’s policies may change about crypto CFDs, which could stick you with the trade or force you to opt-out in an unprofitable position. With crypto exchanges, it’s different as you can immediately allocate the cryptos to another exchange’s account.

We have two very clear paths in front of us. Crypto CFDs come with advantages as well as disadvantages, so deciding how you want to proceed requires extensive research and comprehension. Hopefully this article can be a starting point to both.

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