Can I Withdraw Crypto from eToro?

eToro has become a very popular platform for trading crypto in 2018, but one aspect of it has caused a lot of confusion - users not being able to withdraw crypto even though they own the underlying coins.

This guide will explain why eToro doesn't currently allow this, and when they plan to add it/how it will work.

eToro changing from crypto CFDs to real crypto

To understand why eToro didn't support crypto deposits/withdrawals since it first added crypto trading, you need to first understand what's happening behind the scenes on eToro vs a normal exchange.

When you buy crypto on an exchange, once the purchase has been made that crypto is technically yours, where although the exchange still holds it you have the option to withdraw it similar to a PayPal/bank account. Now until recently, this isn't how eToro worked. eToro crypto buying/selling used to work via a CFD (Contract for Difference).

In a CFD you don't buy/sell coins, but rather you make a deal with eToro that if say you open a buy position for $100 and Bitcoin goes up 50%, you get $150 back from them. You don't own coins here, you just made a deal that if the price goes up you get x amount of money back. When shorting crypto (where you earn money if prices go down) a mechanism like this is required, but for buy positions (sometimes called a 'long' position) this isn't required unless you want to use leverage. So by eToro handling both buy and sell positions via CFD they both prevented users buying crypto directly and also caused them to pay higher fees (as you pay an overnight fee to hold CFDs).

A while ago eToro changed this to where any new buy positions would now buy the underlying coin. Keep in mind though some users have held positions for many months, even before this change was made - so some users do still hold buy positions on CFDs. In May 2018 eToro sent an email to users that they'd be closing any long crypto CFD positions between the 15th-20th May 2018 in all countries apart from China (unless users requesed that they don't, which they might want if they had a leveraged buy position - as when buying crypto directly you can't use leverage).

eToro wallet release

Given the above changes eToro has been making, many people have speculated that at some point they might allow crypto deposits and withdrawals. Based on recent posts by eToro we can confirm this yes, at some point in 2018 eToro will allow crypto deposits & withdrawals! Key events:

  • On the 5th February 2018 eToro posted a video saying they plan to allow users to transfer coins to 'a digital wallet' in the near future.
  • At Consensus 2018 eToro CEO Yoni Assia confirmed eToro is expanding to the US (creating a new offshoot called 'eToro USA'), and also creating a 'dedicated mobile wallet to store crypto-assets' over the coming months, which can be used to withdraw crypto on eToro!

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