eToro and Plus500 are two of the largest, oldest, and most reputable online brokers in the cryptocurrency industry. Both were founded over 10 years ago, in 2007 and 2008 respectively, and these brokers have come to command both loyal followings and unshakeable reputations.
Most new investors looking for the best cryptocurrency broker will have come across both of these household names. We know that choosing between these two excellent platforms can be difficult, so our experts have put them through a rigorous testing process to determine which broker is king.
Table of Contents
Lets take a deeper look into both brokers
eToro Security Vs Plus500 Security
When investing in or trading cryptocurrencies, the security of your funds is paramount. Hackers, scammers, and fraudsters are relentless in their pursuit of your hard-earned money. Cryptocurrencies are particularly valuable assets today, and this means you must pay even more attention to the security of your chosen broker.
Neither eToro nor Plus500 has suffered a major security breach, which means you can rest easy in the knowledge that your funds are safe in your brokerage account. This does mean, however, that the onus is on you to secure your investments.
Both eToro and Plus500 offer 2-factor authentication or 2FA. 2FA requires you to verify your email address, phone number, or Google Authentication app when you log in from a new device. This means that even if your password is compromised, malicious parties will require either your phone or email address to log in.
eToro allows withdrawals via credit/debit card, bank transfer, and PayPal. This is an extremely secure process, and they have a responsive customer support team in case you encounter an issue when withdrawing. Plus500 also allows withdrawals through these channels.
Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations may seem like a pain, but they are the hallmark of a reputable broker. They require platforms to verify your identity to prevent illegal activity.
As part of your sign-up process, eToro will require you to upload some proof of identity (passports are the best and simplest option), and proof of address, such as a recent utility bill. When you have been verified, deposit and withdrawal limits will be lifted, and you can enjoy the full suite of trading options offered by eToro.
Plus500 requires similar documentation, and will also accept government-issued ID such as passports and driving licenses. Your proof of address could also be a bank statement or something similar.
Supported Countries and Location: What’s the Right Broker for You?
Regulations regarding financial services vary around the globe and online brokers like eToro and Plus500 are no exception to this. The services available from a broker depend partly on the jurisdiction in which the broker itself is located, and partly upon the country of the investor.
eToro has offices in the UK, US, EU, and Australia, meaning that you can access their services from most countries throughout the world. Plus500’s offices are in the UK, Cyprus, Seychelles, Singapore, and Australia.
eToro is available in the following countries: Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia (Czech Republic), Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Estonia, Eswatini (fmr. “Swaziland”), Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Holy See, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Senegal, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States* (some states), Uruguay, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.
Plus500 is available in the following countries: Andorra, Argentina, Asia/Pacific Region, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guiana, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guadeloupe, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Malta, Martinique, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Reunion, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, Uruguay. Notably, Plus500 is not available in the US.
eToro is a fully regulated broker, licensed by the FCA in the UK, by CySEC in the EU, by FinCEN in the US, and by ASIC in Australia. This means the platform is subject to the scrutiny of the world’s most stringent regulatory bodies, and this is one of the features that has made it an industry leader over the last 14 years. American authorities are notoriously resistant to this kind of financial service, especially when it comes to cryptocurrencies, and so eToro’s compliance is a testament to their legitimacy.
Plus500 is not licensed in the United States, however, they are fully regulated and compliant in the UK, the EU, Australia, Singapore, and Israel. This makes Plus500 a great option for traders in Asia. Your investments are subject to intense scrutiny here too, making it a viable option for cautious investors. Plus500 offers CFD trading, and cryptocurrency CFDs may be subject to geographically-specific regulations, such as the FCA’s ban on cryptocurrency derivatives in the UK. Always check the regulations relevant to your locality when deciding on a trading platform.
Both eToro and Plus500 are covered by government schemes like the UK’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme, which protect customers’ funds in the event of insolvency or other crises. This gives you an added layer of confidence when trading with these platforms.
eToro Vs Plus500: Which One Has a Broader Crypto Portfolio?
Although many online brokers now offer cryptocurrency trading services, you must choose the right platform according to your needs. Do you want exposure to the biggest players such as Bitcoin or Ethereum, or do you want to trade more obscure alternative cryptocurrencies, often called ‘altcoins’?
eToro offers 18 cryptocurrencies, of medium to large market capitalisations. Plus500 offers 6, which are restricted to the biggest coins, plus an index. Both also offer various trading pairs for the coins.
eToro allows you to trade the following cryptos:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Ripple (XRP)
- Dash (DASH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Ethereum Classic (ETC)
- Cardano (ADA)
- IOTA (MIOTA)
- Stellar (XLM)
- Tron (TRX)
- ZCash (ZEC)
- Binance Coin (BNB)
- Tezos (XTZ)
- ChainLink (LINK)
- UniSwap (UNI)
You can also trade some crypto-crypto pairs, such as ETH/BTC.
Plus500 allows you to trade these coins:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Stellar (XLM)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Cardano (ADA)
Plus500 also offers an ETH/BTC pair, as well as a Crypto 10 index which tracks the 10 largest cryptocurrencies by market cap.
Comparing purchasing methods
eToro and Plus500 both offer many routes to cryptocurrency exposure.
eToro supports crypto pairs with GBP, USD, JPY, CHF, EUR, AUD, NZD, CAD, and CNH.
With Plus500, you can only trade USD crypto pairs, however as the assets are traded with CFDs, you can open a position in your native currency.
Buying Crypto on eToro Vs Plus500
All brokers will charge some sort of fee, as this is ultimately how they make their money. Although these charges are far lower than those levied by traditional stockbrokers, it is important to compare different fee structures to find the correct option for you.
Plus500 and eToro charge $10 per month as an inactivity fee. This will be levied if you do not log in to your account for several months. eToro will charge you network fees if you move cryptocurrencies in or out of your wallet, as they allow you to take custody of the coins themselves.
eToro charges a flat fee of $5 on withdrawals, meaning you can minimise fees by making fewer large withdrawals rather than many small ones.
Deposit and withdrawal fee
Neither broker charges a fee for deposits, but eToro does charge $5 for withdrawals.
Broker trading fee
As mentioned earlier, neither platform charges any commission on trades you make with them, but they will apply something called a ‘bid/ask spread’. This is the difference between buying and selling prices in a market. Ask prices are higher than bid prices, and this gap is how brokers make their money.
eToro’s spreads for cryptos run between 0.75% and 4% depending on the coin, with bigger cryptos with greater liquidity attracting a tighter spread. Plus500’s spread for Bitcoin is a very competitive 0.3% and Bitcoin Cash clocks in at under 2%. These are very tight spreads and are a big draw for traders who want to cut costs in this area.
Both of these brokers allow users to deposit and withdraw via multiple payment channels. eToro supports credit/debit cards, bank transfers, and third-party payment processors like PayPal, Skrill, or Neteller.
Plus500 will let you fund your account with a Visa or Mastercard payment, a bank transfer, or through an online wallet like PayPal or Skrill.
Comparing the User Interface of Both Platforms
For new investors, a confusing interface can be intimidating and will often scare away novices. Luckily eToro delivers a bright, friendly user experience that helps new traders to feel at ease. It also offers a copy trading feature, which allows you to mirror the portfolio and trades of veteran traders. This can help you to understand how markets work in the beginning.
Plus500 brings you a slightly different user experience, with a sleeker, more technical dashboard. Their layout is still clear and easy to navigate, though, and gives off an aura of professionalism. Beginners will quickly find their feet on both platforms, but be sure to pay attention to which user interface (UI) is most appealing to you.
eToro ease of use
eToro’s interface is uncluttered and clear, as you can see. Various tabs on the left-hand side allow you to quickly navigate between your portfolio, news, and watchlist, and you can access copy trading features beneath the markets tab. Front and centre are your crypto trading pairs, with mini graphs and prices displayed with each index.
This makes it very easy to find the coin you wish to trade, and you can get a feel for the state of the market straight from the splash page. Your profile and funds can be accessed conveniently via the blue buttons on the left.
Plus500 ease of use
On Plus500, the landing page displays trading pairs at the top, and your selected pair will generate a price chart at the bottom of the page. This allows traders to conduct technical analysis very quickly, as the chart is highly functional with a deep feature set. As with eToro, you can make trades via the ‘Buy’ and ‘Sell’ buttons directly from this page, while settings and your account details can be accessed from the tabs on the left.
The features of these brokers are very closely matched. Plus500 and eToro both offer countless chart options, with indicators ranging from moving averages and strength indices to Bollinger bands and Ichimoku clouds. This allows traders to conduct technical analysis and make trades all in the same place.
Plus500 allows you to make leveraged trades. This involves borrowing capital from the broker and using it to increase your exposure. 10x (or 10:1) leverage, for example, allows you to increase your position by a factor of 10. If you start with $100, a trade with 10x leverage will behave as if you had $1000. This can be an excellent tool for maximising your profits with a small initial deposit, but remember your losses will also be amplified by the same factor.
eToro’s flagship feature is arguably their copy trading and CopyPortfolio suite. These options allow you to copy the trades and investments of veteran investors, which can help new investors hugely in getting a leg up in the market.
eToro Vs Plus500: Liquidity and Volume
Liquidity refers to the total amount of an asset available for trading on a platform, whereas volume refers to the actual amount of the asset being traded. Greater liquidity and volume typically lead to tighter spreads, and therefore lower fees for users. If liquidity dries up, then a platform may not be able to fulfil trades in periods of high volume. If a platform has a low trading volume, then trades may take a long time to complete, and prices may be divergent from the aggregated market price.
eToro has faced liquidity issues in periods of extremely high demand, such as in January 2021, where they were forced to suspend buy orders for Bitcoin. However, they may be more able to bootstrap liquidity if a similar situation occurs in the future. Plus500 does not require underlying asset liquidity, as it deals in CFDs, which simply track the price of an asset. Spreads will be tighter for higher volume markets, like BTCUSD, on Plus500.
Who Offers the Best Customer Support?
Both Plus500 and eToro offer excellent customer support services and this is one of the reasons why they have enjoyed such enduring success over the last decade.
eToro hosts a live chat service, where you can talk to an operator online via a text chat if you are a member of eToro Club. This requires you to have a total balance of $5,000 in your account, across cash and investments. Otherwise, you can file a support request and their team will get back to you via your request ticket.
Plus500 offers a traditional ticketed support system too, but also an excellent live chat feature which is available to any and all users. This allows traders to reliably get support 24/7, which is an asset to the platform.
eToro Vs Plus500: Conclusion
Choosing a winner here is nearly impossible. eToro is probably better suited to beginners, as it has a brighter, more simplified interface. It also allows users to get quick exposure to winning trades through its copy trading features, and charges very little by way of fees, apart from their $5 withdrawal fee. eToro also offers a considerably wider range of coins to trade and allows you to take custody of the tokens themselves.
Plus500, however, may be slightly better suited to advanced, veteran traders. The interface is more technically focused, which may be daunting for novice investors, but gives greater flexibility to experienced users. It also offers incredibly tight spreads on cryptocurrencies, such as 0.3% on Bitcoin, and they don’t charge for deposits or withdrawals, meaning that people who trade round the clock may incur fewer costs. Plus500 operates via CFDs, which means that you don’t take custody of actual coins. This can be more convenient for those used to traditional markets but could introduce regulatory difficulties in regions with restrictions on cryptocurrency CFDs.
Ultimately, there isn’t a winner here as such. Both platforms are highly functional and secure but offer slightly different feature sets and fee structures that are suited to different types of users.
Frequently Asked Questions
CFDs, or Contracts for Difference, are agreements between the user and broker to exchange the difference in the value of an asset between when the position was opened and when it closes. Conversely, buying cryptocurrencies involves actually purchasing and owning actual tokens (i.e. bitcoins).
Plus500 is not currently available in the US, so American users may have to use eToro which is expanding its services there.
Spreads vary between trading pairs and assets, however, Plus500 offers tighter spreads overall.
That is up to you. Bitcoin is more stable than other cryptocurrencies and may work better as a long term investment, but smaller coins like Stellar may offer more exposure to volatility for day trading.