First Global Credit, the first company to make it possible to use bitcoins as margin to trade stocks is now adding Commodity Futures to the growing list of what can be traded on the website.
“Commodity Futures is the next logical step in providing digital currency holders with the same choices fiat currency holders have,” states First Global’s CEO Gavin Smith from his office in Geneva, Switzerland. “As more people adopt bitcoin as part of their portfolio, they will expect access to the same choices fiat holders enjoy,” continues Smith, who prior to launching First Global Credit managed hedging strategies for Trafigura one the world’s largest physical commodity traders. “Our layered risk management and hedging tools which dynamically adjust both company and individual account exposure make it possible for First Global to offer these types of services. This is just one aspect of our unique vision for what is possible with bitcoins.”
The Commodity Futures Trading Service will initially offer 5 markets and two to three months for each contract; E-mini Crude Oil Futures, Comex Miny Copper, Comex E-Micro Gold, e-Mini S&P Futures, and E-mini NASDAQ 100.
“We’ve started with the E-mini contracts because we wanted to make this service accessible to as many people as possible,” stated Marcie Terman, First Global’s Communications Director. “These mini contracts have relatively small margin requirements. The clients still get the benefit of trading a leveraged contract because in the case of futures, leverage is built directly into the contract,” continues Terman.
Over $2.2m dollars’ worth of trading took place on the site in February, “and that is increasing at the rate of about 50% a quarter,” states Smith. “Offering these choices will make it easier for people to hold onto their bitcoin positions even when they want to initiate a trade in an alternative market. This is absolutely necessary to drive the creation of the bitcoin capital market,” continues Smith who has drafted a team of highly skilled professionals from his days in banking and commodity trading to build First Global’s proprietary technology.
To trade futures using bitcoin as margin, clients need to register an account and then go through the standard verification process where proof of identity and proof of address are submitted. Bitcoins are deposited in segregated client accounts and then can be used to trade stocks, ETFs, futures as well as trade bitcoins against 4 fiat currencies. In addition to the trading opportunities, any account of 10+ bitcoins automatically receives interest as well. (Currently 2% per annum.) “That’s better than you get from a dollar, sterling, euro or Swiss Franc account right now,” states Mr. Smith in his final point.