Announced Tuesday, the Israel-based company has opened the waiting list for people in the U.S. who want to trade bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin, XRP, dash, bitcoin cash, stellar, ethereum classic, NEO, and EOS.
“Consumers all over the world should have access to the tools they need to participate in cryptocurrency markets, regardless of their expertise,” CEO Yoni Assia said in a press release.
Previously, eToro offered crypto trading only on a very limited basis. For example, in 2014 it introduced contracts for difference (CFDs) in which users could bet on the direction of bitcoin’s price without actually touching the cryptocurrency.
Then early last year, the company enabled customers to buy or sell XRP, ether and litecoin on its platform, but it did not allow them to deposit or withdraw cryptocurrencies from their accounts, according to eToro’s terms and conditions.
Now eToro plans to launch a true cryptocurrency exchange, plus a corresponding mobile wallet, sometime in 2018. The new exchange will have bonus over-the-counter trading options for institutional investors.
Setting eToro apart from other exchanges, top cryptocurrency traders will be able to reap income by making their portfolios transparent on eToro and allowing other traders to copy their trades.
The platform, which also offers trading in traditional assets from stocks to commodities, is perhaps best known for its social features. Similar to networks like Facebook or Twitter, eToro users can follow influential traders and topics with customized news feeds.
Guy Hirsch, eToro’s U.S. managing director, told CoinDesk users can directly message traders they copy, adding:
“If the market is bitcoin, then every time there is a mention about bitcoin by some other user you’ll be able to see that in your news feed. You’ll be able to comment on that, share that or like it. Similarly, you can start a conversation about bitcoin, then other people who have bitcoin on their watch list will be able to see your post.”