Spread betting vs crypto CFDs: Which one is best for me?

You can use spread betting or CFDs to trade the cryptocurrency market. This beginner-friendly guide compares spread betting to crypto CFDs to help you decide which is best.
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Updated: Aug 11, 2022

This page outlines the key differences between crypto spread betting and CFDs. Read on to learn the benefits of each and find out which option suits your trading style the best.

What is the difference between crypto spread betting and CFDs?

The main difference between the two is how they are taxed. Spread betting and CFDs are both leveraged products and have many similarities, but with crypto spread betting you pay zero tax on any profits you make. Cryptocurrency CFDs are subject to capital gains tax in the United Kingdom. 

It is possible to use both types of derivative from different regions in the world which can impact taxation. Every jurisdiction has different laws and it is recommended that you check which rules apply to your country. While tax is the main difference between both, there are other differences which we’ve explained below. 

Cryptocurrency spread betting vs CFDs

Before comparing spread betting and CFDs, it is important to understand how each works. Here is a brief explanation. 

  • Spread betting. With spread betting you stake an amount of money per point in the cryptocurrency you’re speculating on. A point is usually equal to $1 or $0.10 for most crypto coins. For example, if you buy and stake £5 per point in Bitcoin you will make £5 each time its value increases by $1. If it rises by $100, you will make £500. 
  • CFDs. CFD trading exchanges the difference in price from the start to the end of the agreed contract. Unlike spread betting, you’re not allocating an amount of money per point, rather speculating on where a crypto coin’s price will move in the future. The difference in price between where you open and close is your profit or loss. 

Below we have compared the main differences between spread betting and CFDs. We’ve included the main features each provides and explained how they are applicable to each.

FeatureSpread bettingCFDs
TaxProfits from crypto spread betting are exempt from capital gains tax.Any profit you make from CFDs are subject to capital gains tax, although losses can be offset against profit.
CommissionsWhen trading crypto using spread betting, no commission charges apply.Crypto CFDs usually charge a commission for opening and closing a position, although this will vary from broker to broker.
Going long and shortYou are able to go both long (buy) and (short) when spread betting on crypto. 
Just like spread betting, you can go long and short on crypto CFDs.
Using leverageSpread betting is a leveraged product meaning you only need to deposit a small percentage of the total value of your trade.CFDs offer the same benefits as spread betting and are leveraged products allowing you to trade on margin.
Trading hoursCryptocurrency trading is available 24/7 with most spread betting brokers.You can trade the crypto market 24/7 with CFD brokers.
Trade sizeThe minimum trade size for most spread betting brokers is £1 per point.Each broker has a different minimum trade size and it is possible to trade less than 1 contract
Retail or professional?
To trade the cryptocurrency market via spread betting you need to be classed as a professional in the United Kingdom.The same rules apply for CFDs as that of spread betting. However retail traders can trade crypto CFDs using some brokers.
RegulationCrypto spread betting is considered a form of gambling, however brokers offering it are regulated by the Financial Conduct authority.Brokers offering cryptocurrency CFDs need to be regulated. Most are regulated by various European authorities.

Should I use spread betting or CFDs for crypto trading?

As you will have seen from our comparison above, the differences between spread betting and CFDs are minimal. The key difference is the way each is taxed. Most other features are the same, or very similar. The choice of which method to use will largely depend on your own circumstances. 

If you are able to pass the criteria to gain professional status, then spread betting is probably the better option as you can benefit from tax free profits. Spread betting is also a more user-friendly product as there is less work required for calculating stake size and profit and loss. CFDs are a better option if you’re unable to use spread betting in your country. 

Spread betting is only available in the UK and Ireland, meaning much of the world cannot access this type of trading. CFDs on the other hand are available in a wide range of countries and offered by more brokers. 

Compare the best crypto brokers

You will need to use a broker to spread bet on crypto or use CFD contracts. Many brokers offer both types of derivatives so you have a lot of options to choose from. Our crypto experts have searched the market and found the top rated platforms around to get started with either spread betting or CFDs right now. Click on any of the links below to register an account. 

1
Min. Deposit
$50
Promotion
User Score
10
Award-winning platform - trade in real stocks
Commission Free on stocks
11 payment methods, including PayPal
Start Trading
Payment Methods:
Bank Transfer, Wire Transfer
Full Regulations:
CySEC, FCA
eToro is a multi-asset platform which offers CFD and non CFD products. 68% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

What should I do now?

Now that you know the main differences between spread betting and CFDs you may want to start trading. To do so, you’ll need to register with an online brokerage account that offers the method you want to use. If you’re new to crypto trading then its a good idea to brush up on your skills. You can use the many free guides we have here on Invezz to help you get started.


Our editors fact-check all content to ensure compliance with our strict editorial policy. The information in this article is supported by the following reliable sources.

Invezz is a place where people can find reliable, unbiased information about finance, trading, and investing – but we do not offer financial advice and users should always carry out their own research. The assets covered on this website, including stocks, cryptocurrencies, and commodities can be highly volatile and new investors often lose money. Success in the financial markets is not guaranteed, and users should never invest more than they can afford to lose. You should consider your own personal circumstances and take the time to explore all your options before making any investment. Read our risk disclaimer >

Prash Raval
Financial Writer
When not researching stocks or trading, Prash can be found either on the golf course, walking his dog or teaching his son how to kick a… read more.