30 Dec, 2017 | Bankis
Britain's largest online trading platform, Hargreaves Lansdown, allows now its customers to invest in bitcoin. The broker, which manages £70bn of invested funds, is allowing now its over 800,000 customers to access a fund that monitors the value of bitcoin.
The fund, which is offered by a Swedish company, XBT Provider, is a fund listed on the stock exchange that can be bought and sold like a share. XBT buys certificates in US dollars, that track the value of bitcoin. The value of and any amount payable under the certificates will be ruled by the performance of bitcoin and the US dollar exchange rate. As such an investment in the certificates is likely to be highly volatile and thus risky but yet a great opportunity to increase gains.
HL customers can hold the bitcoin investment in their personal pension (SIPP) or as a normal broker account. Hargreaves already allowed investors to access the Bitcoin Investment Trust. The $389m fund is run by Grayscale Investments, which specialises in "crypto-currencies"."By adding self-service, online dealing, the team at Hargreaves Lansdown is providing UK investors with professional and quick access to bitcoin in the UK and greater Europe," said Ryan Radloff, XBT's head of investor relations.
Crypto-currencies started to merge back in 2009 after the great 2008 financial crisis. Online crypto-currencies are not controlled by the world’s central banks and are regulated by the public by using a digital ledger of transactions known as a blockchain. The price of bitcoin has increased since the start of the year from less than $900 to more than $14,000 today but by hitting back in November 2017 a $20,000 record.