UK's CMC Markets launches cryptocurrency trading

Bitcoin (virtual currency) coins are seen in an illustration picture taken at La Maison du Bitcoin in Paris, France, May 27, 2015. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

(Reuters) - Online trading platform CMC Markets Plc said on Thursday it had launched contracts for differences (CFDs) and spreadbetting offerings for cryptocurrencies following significant interest from its users.

CFDs and binary options are financial products that give an investor exposure to price movements in securities without actually owning the underlying assets such as a currency, commodity or stock.

The trading feature would only be accessible to CMC's professional client base, the company said. (

CMC’s move to cryptocurrency trading follows that of its rival Plus500 Ltd and comes in the backdrop of a sector-wide regulatory clamp down on CFDs trading.

Last month, Plus500 said the hype around cryptocurrencies drew more customers to its trading platforms and the company forecast 2018 revenue “significantly ahead” of market expectations.

Bitcoin, one of the most popular cryptocurrencies, soared by more than 1,000 percent in 2017, but has already lost about half of its value this year amid mounting calls for a regulatory crackdown.

Alphabet Inc's Google said on Wednesday it was banning advertisements for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings, the latest internet company to clamp down on the sector amid growing concerns about scams. (

Reporting by Rahul B in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta