How to bet on bitcoin's future value

AccessTimeIconApr 18, 2013 at 12:22 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 10, 2021 at 10:39 a.m. UTC

IG Index, a UK-based company that offers spread betting on financial markets, has begun offering binary betting on the bitcoin market.

The limited risk binary offering enables clients to take a position on the value of bitcoins, where bets are expressed as odds that an event will or won't occur. IG's offering lets people bet on whether a bitcoin's market value will finish above or below a certain point by a certain date: clients can choose to buy or sell depending on whether they agree or disagree with IG's predicted price levels.

According to IG's website, binary bets and binary options are "a straightforward way to take advantage of volatile markets." For example, the company noted, the price of a bitcoin moved from $13.50 in January to $266 in April, "then lost more than 60% in one day before mounting a partial recovery."

"While bitcoin is still a relatively new phenomenon it has surprised many in the financial markets with its popularity," said IG chief executive Tim Howkins. "We're delighted to offer our clients the opportunity to benefit from its price fluctuations using a binary -- while limiting their risk exposure."

IG Index is one of two core businesses run by IG Group. The group's other business -- IG Markets -- offers financial bets on contracts for difference (CFDs) and forex.

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