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Updated on Monday, February 8, 2021
eToro is a trading platform exclusively for cryptocurrencies. The platform provides a decent variety of cryptocurrencies, plenty of research and investment tools and an active community of investors sharing trading strategies. The platform does have some drawbacks though. Investments are limited to just cryptocurrencies, and the trading fees can be on the higher side. To help you decide whether eToro is right for you, we took an in-depth look at its platform.
|Minimum deposit||$50 for online bank transfer, $500 for wire transfers|
|Sign-up bonus||$50 referral bonus if an existing user invites you to join the platform, and you make a trade of at least $100|
- What eToro offers and who it’s for
- eToro fees and costs
- eToro investing tools and research
- eToro user experience
- eToro investor education
- eToro security
- Alternatives to eToro to consider
What eToro offers and who it’s for
For customers in the United States, eToro is a trading platform for cryptoassets like Bitcoin and Ethereum. In other countries, the platform includes other investments like stocks and commodities, but American users do not have access to these.
This online platform is a good choice for investors interested in cryptocurrencies, both beginners and experts. There’s plenty of advanced research and tools available for investors looking to build their own portfolio. If you’re not sure what to buy, there’s also a CopyTrader™ program, where you can set up your portfolio to match the trades of accomplished investors on the platform.
Besides the trading platform, eToro also offers a cryptocurrency wallet, where you can store your digital assets and transfer them to other people.
- Fast access to 14 cryptoassets: You can buy cryptocurrencies through eToro without setting up an ewallet first. This saves time and lets you start trading immediately.
- Transparent, simple fees: For trades, eToro only charges a “round-trip” spread on the transaction. They don’t charge any other maintenance or account fees.
- Low deposit requirement: You can open an eToro account and start trading with just $50.
- Active community of investors: eToro has an active community of investors, who create posts and investment recommendations through the platform.
- Unique CopyTrader™ program: With the CopyTrader™ program, you can mimic the portfolios of investors with a good track record. If you’re a successful investor, you could enroll in CopyTrader™ and make money from eToro when people mimic your trades.
- Limited investment selection: While eToro offers other investments in different countries, U.S.-based users can only invest in cryptoassets. If you’d like another service to invest in traditional assets, consider these top online brokers.
- Relatively high investment spread: The eToro spread could be higher than other platforms. For example, Coinbase charges a spread of approximately 0.50% on trades, versus at least 0.75% with eToro. However, Coinbase also charges a transaction fee on top of the spread.
- Not available nationwide: While you can use eToro in most states and the District of Columbia, there are a handful of states where it’s not available.
eToro fees and costs
|Bid-ask transaction spread||From 0.75% to 5.00% of the “round-trip” transaction (rate depends on the type of cryptocurrency)|
|Account maintenance fee||$0|
|Crypto-to-Crypto conversion fees||0.10% of the transaction|
|Crypto transfer fee||A partial unit of the cryptoasset (for example, to transfer Bitcoin it’s 0.0005 units of a coin)|
eToro makes money using a bid-ask spread on your trades. Rather than charging a spread on both sides of a transaction, they use a “round-trip” system. They charge the spread on your entire purchase, and then adjust it once you sell the cryptocurrency. If you sell for more than you bought, the fee is higher and if you sell for a loss, they will refund part of the spread.
For example, eToro’s current Bitcoin spread is 0.75%. If you buy $10,000 worth of Bitcoin, they will initially charge $75. If you sell the Bitcoin for $10,000 later, you don’t owe anything extra. If you sell for $20,000. the total spread will be $150 and you’ll be charged an additional $75 on top of what you already paid. If you sell for less than $10,000, you’ll get a partial refund of the spread.
This spread is relatively high compared with other popular discount brokers like Coinbase and Robinhood. eToro does not charge a withdrawal fee or account maintenance fee, but they do charge small conversion and crypto transfer fees for the storage wallet. It’s 0.10% for conversions and a unit cost for transfers, depending on the type of coin.
eToro investing tools and research
The eToro platform offers easy-to-use charts to handle technical analysis for all their cryptoassets. You can use these charts to compare multiple assets across different timeframes, and customize and save the chart layouts for the future.
CopyTrader™ and CopyPortfolios
Through the platform, you can research other traders and if you find someone you like, you can sign up to copy their trades and get an identical portfolio. With a minimum investment of $5,000, you can also buy into portfolios of cryptocurrencies managed by eToro.
eToro Club membership program
eToro offers a club membership account based on the size of your trading account. You qualify for the lowest tier, Silver, when you have at least $5,000. Larger accounts qualify for higher tiers. At each level, you receive more investor tools and research materials. See below for more information on the club membership program and benefits.
Trading Central Research Platform
If you have at least a Platinum membership, with an account value of at least $25,000, you get access to the Trading Central Research Platform. This offers technical analysis and market research from eToro throughout the trading day.
News, analysis and member posts
eToro publishes a daily update on market news and analysis through their website. On the platform, you can also see posts from other eToro investors about their market insights and predictions, while contributing posts of your own.
Market newsletter and analyst report
If you have a Silver membership, with an account of at least $5,000, eToro will send you their monthly market newsletter and quarterly analyst report with more research for your trades.
eToro user experience
Setting up a brokerage account with eToro was simple and only required providing an email address to access the platform, though you need to link your bank account to deposit funds in order to start trading. The platform and mobile app are simple to use as the different sections are clear and easy to find. The social aspect of eToro is obvious, as it feels like a combination of a trading platform with a social media account.
As noted, eToro provides plenty of market research and trading tools. While helpful, it can feel a little overwhelming at first getting a handle on everything. For example, it took some time to figure out how to launch the ProCharts feature and once it loaded, to sort through the vast number of charting options. However, experienced traders will appreciate the amount of research once they get the hang of things.
For customer support, eToro offers live chat 24 hours a day, Monday through Friday. You can also email them questions, though they note it can take up to seven days to get a reply that way. Alternatively, you can search through their help forums for answers to common questions. They do not offer customer service by phone though.
If you have a Silver level or higher membership, you also get a personal account manager familiar with your portfolio for support. Platinum members and above get even faster support with priority customer service.
eToro investor education
eToro offers a wide range of investor education materials to teach people how to invest in cryptocurrencies. On the website, they offer free videos, guides and a podcast. The company also offers courses and webinars on trading strategies.
As previously mentioned, eToro has a club membership program based on the value of your account:
- Silver = $5,000
- Gold = $10,000
- Platinum = $25,000
- Platinum+ = $50,000
- Diamond = $250,000
At higher levels, you get more support and investor education materials. For example, all eToro Club members get access to additional live webinars. Platinum members and above get a free Wall Street Journal subscription. Diamond members are invited to in-person eToro events (currently on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.)
- Two-factor identification
- Data security technology, firewalls and data encryption
- Segregated accounts
For account security, eToro offers the basics. On top of your password, you have the option to set up two-factor identification to access your account. The platform also protects your information using data security technology, firewalls and data encryption.
On the financial side, eToro segregates the money in your account from the eToro funds, so if the company goes bankrupt, your funds are separate. In addition, eToro is FDIC-insured, so your account cash holdings are insured up to $250,000 incase they go bankrupt.
Alternatives to eToro to consider
eToro offers a lot for both beginner and expert cryptocurrency investors. It’s easy to join and start making trades, the platform includes all kinds of tools and research and there’s a nice social connection with other investors that you don’t see with a typical online broker. If your goal is to trade the most popular cryptoassets and you want help along the way, eToro could be a good choice.
Where it falls short is on investment selection. The U.S. service currently only offers cryptoassets, not other investments like stocks, options or commodities. In addition, the platform only offers 14 possible cryptoassets, while there are thousands on the market today. Finally, eToro’s fees can be on the high side versus other discount brokers. Let’s see how eToro compares against some of the other popular platforms.
|Average Cost Per Trade||Minimum Deposit||Best for...|
|eToro||0.75%-5.00% of the trade value (round-trip spread)||$50||Crypto investors who want high-end investments and research, along with an active investor community|
|Coinbase||0.50% spread + an additional transaction fee||$2||Crypto investors who want access to coins beyond the most common and also who don’t trade as frequently|
|Robinhood||$0, no commission on trades||$0||Investors who want to invest in basic crypto assets along with other investments like stocks and ETFs|
eToro vs. Coinbase
Coinbase is another platform dedicated to crypto investments with a larger variety of cryptoassets than eToro (currently more than 40 available in the U.S.). While Coinbase offers some investor tools and research, it’s not quite as comprehensive as eToro and it lacks the same type of social community.
In terms of fees, the differences between the two platforms come down to how you trade. eToro charges a larger spread so it costs more on larger, infrequent transactions, whereas Coinbase charges a smaller spread, but also an additional transaction fee. That means if you make many, small trades, Coinbase could end up being more expensive.
If you’re okay putting in research outside the platform and want more cryptocurrency variety, Coinbase could be a better option. If you want more of a social community, investor tools and don’t mind sticking to the most popular digital assets, eToro could be better.
eToro vs. Robinhood
Robinhood is another popular trading platform that offers a much larger variety of potential investments than eToro. In addition to cryptocurrencies, you can also invest in stocks, ETFs, options, gold and other assets through Robinhood. Another nice benefit of Robinhood is that it offers commission-free trades, meaning it doesn’t cost you anything to buy or sell cryptoassets, whereas eToro charges a spread.
On the other hand, Robinhood is fairly limited for serious cryptocurrency traders. It doesn’t offer the extensive research, tools and community that you have with eToro. In addition, Robinhood only has seven coins available, versus 14 at eToro. If you’d like to do a little cryptocurrency investing along with the rest of your portfolio, Robinhood gives you an easy and free way to get started. If you want more of an extensive cryptotrading platform, eToro could be better.
Rates and fees mentioned in this article are accurate as of the date of publishing.
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