How to Trade Cryptocurrency CFDs?


Cryptocurrency trading has revolutionised the financial markets, offering unique opportunities for traders worldwide. As digital currencies continue to gain popularity, understanding how to trade them effectively becomes crucial.

This FXOpen article delves into the intricacies of trading cryptocurrency, focusing on Contracts for Difference (CFDs), a popular instrument that allows traders to speculate on both rising and falling prices. Join us and learn how to navigate this volatile market, manage risks, and potentially capitalise on digital currency movements.

What Is Cryptocurrency, and Why Trade It?

Cryptocurrencies are digital or virtual currencies that use cryptography for security and operate on a decentralised network, typically a blockchain that records all transactions across a network of computers. This innovative form of currency includes popular examples like Bitcoin and Ethereum, which have captured the attention of investors worldwide.

Trading digital currencies has attracted a wide array of participants, from individual traders to institutional investors, largely due to the significant volatility observed in these markets. This volatility can lead to substantial price movements within short periods, offering the potential for considerable returns but leading to increased risks.  

Likewise, digital currencies can be traded 24/7 through various cryptocurrency exchanges and brokers, platforms specifically designed for buying, selling, and trading these assets. These exchanges provide a fluid and dynamic trading environment, unlike traditional financial markets, which have set trading hours.

The allure of trading digital currencies also stems from the opportunity to diversify a portfolio. As digital currencies operate independently of traditional financial markets, they can offer a hedge against inflation or economic downturns in other sectors.

What Are Cryptocurrency CFDs?

So, what is a CFD in cryptocurrency? A Contract for Difference (CFD) is a type of financial derivative that enables traders to speculate on asset price fluctuations without the need to hold the actual underlying instrument.

Essentially, when trading a cryptocurrency CFD, investors enter a contract with a broker, agreeing to settle the difference between the opening and closing prices of their position. The essence of trading with CFDs lies in its ability to enable traders to potentially profit from both rising and falling markets by going long (buying) if they believe the price will rise or going short (selling) if they anticipate a price decline. When trading CFDs, traders can use leverage. Still, it’s worth remembering that leverage can both magnify returns and amplify losses.

This method of trading is facilitated by a cryptocurrency CFD trading platform, like FXOpen’s TickTrader, which provides the tools and services needed to execute trades. Trading CFDs on digital currencies through these platforms allows for participation in the cryptocurrency market without the complexities of direct ownership, such as cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals, and security concerns associated with holding digital currencies directly.

What to Know Before Cryptocurrency CFD Trading

Before venturing into the world of cryptocurrency CFD trading, it's crucial to arm oneself with a clear understanding of the market and its nuances. This involves more than just knowing how to buy and sell cryptocurrency or grasping the cryptocurrency CFD meaning. It requires a deep dive into the specifics of trading strategy, market analysis, and risk management.

Trading Strategy

Developing a robust trading strategy is paramount. This involves deciding on the type of trader you wish to be—whether a day trader, focusing on short-term price movements, or a swing trader, holding positions for several days to capitalise on expected directional shifts. Your strategy might also include which digital currencies to trade, when to enter or exit a trade, and how to leverage market events.

Market Analysis

Market analysis is a cornerstone of effective trading. This typically includes both technical analysis, which involves studying charts and patterns to anticipate future price movements, and fundamental analysis, which considers external factors such as news events, regulatory updates, and economic indicators that could influence market prices. A thorough analysis can help traders reduce reliance on speculation and hunches.

Risk Management

Implementing effective risk management strategies for longevity in the crypto market. This includes using tools such as stop-loss orders to potentially limit losses, managing leverage wisely to avoid excessive exposure, and diversifying a portfolio to spread risk.

To learn how to choose a cryptocurrency for trading, read our article.

Pros and Cons of Cryptocurrency CFDs

Trading cryptocurrencies on a forex platform through CFDs offers unique advantages and some challenges. Below is a concise overview of the pros and cons of engaging in trading cryptocurrencies on CFD trading platforms.


  • Accessibility: Trading CFDs on cryptocurrency allows for easy access to the digital asset market without the need for direct ownership, simplifying the process of entering and exiting trades.
  • Leverage: Offers the potential to magnify returns, providing traders with the opportunity to gain exposure to cryptocurrency markets with less capital.
  • Market Flexibility: Traders can potentially profit from both rising and falling markets by going long or short, offering flexibility regardless of market direction.
  • Diversification: Enables traders to diversify their investment portfolio by adding cryptocurrency exposure alongside traditional assets.


  • Leverage Risks: While leverage can increase potential returns, it also amplifies potential losses, especially in the volatile cryptocurrency market.
  • Market Volatility: The high volatility of cryptocurrencies can lead to rapid, significant price changes, impacting the performance of CFD positions unexpectedly.
  • Costs: Trading CFDs involves costs, including spread fees, overnight financing charges, and commission fees, which can eat into returns.
  • Complexity: Requires a good understanding of CFD mechanisms and strategies, as well as ongoing market analysis, to make informed trading decisions.

The Bottom Line

Trading cryptocurrency CFDs offers a dynamic and potentially lucrative opportunity for those looking to engage in the digital currency market. With its flexibility, leverage, and ability to trade on both rising and falling markets, CFD trading is a powerful tool in a trader's arsenal.

To embark on this journey, consider taking the first step by choosing a reputable broker. Opening an FXOpen account could be your gateway to navigating the complexities of the cryptocurrency CFD trading landscape with confidence.


Can You Trade Crypto CFDs?

Yes, you can trade cryptocurrency CFDs through brokers like FXOpen. However, crypto CFDs are restricted to professional clients in certain jurisdictions, so it’s important to check before you begin trading.

Why Trade Digital Currency CFDs?

Trading digital currency CFDs allows traders to speculate on price movements without owning the underlying assets. This approach provides flexibility, leverage, and the ability to go long or short, catering to various trading strategies.

What Is the Difference Between Digital Currency and a Digital Currency CFD?

Digital currency refers to the actual asset, like Bitcoin or Ethereum, that can be bought, sold, or held. A digital currency CFD is a derivative product that tracks the price movement of the underlying digital currency, allowing for speculation on price changes without ownership.

Are CFDs a High-Risk Trading Instrument?

Yes, CFDs are considered high risk due to leverage, which can amplify both gains and losses and the volatility of the underlying markets, especially digital currencies.

Are CFDs Better Than Forex?

CFDs and forex cater to different markets and trading preferences. CFDs offer access to a wider range of assets, including digital currencies, while forex trading is specifically currency trading. Preference depends on the trader's market interest and strategy.

How Much Money Do You Need to Start Digital Currency CFD Trading?

The starting capital required can vary widely depending on the broker's minimum deposit requirement and the desired level of exposure. Check the FXOpen website to learn the conditions.

At FXOpen UK and FXOpen AU, Cryptocurrency CFDs are only available for trading by those clients categorised as Professional clients under FCA Rules and Professional clients under ASIC Rules, respectively. They are not available for trading by Retail clients.

This article represents the opinion of the Companies operating under the FXOpen brand only. It is not to be construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation with respect to products and services provided by the Companies operating under the FXOpen brand, nor is it to be considered financial advice.

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CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 60% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.