- Easy-to-use interface
- Social trading innovations
- Wide range of payment methods
- Solid selection of markets
- Excellent mobile app
- Poor customer service
- Overnight fees
- Fairly high spreads
- Basic trading tools
Many of the cryptocurrency trading platforms I’ve looked at are solely concerned with trading cryptocurrencies. Not so with eToro. No, eToro is a fully fledged trading platform, which allows its users to trade everything from stocks, to commodities, to currencies. Crypto trading is just a part of its wider operation.
eToro was founded in Israel, back in 2006, by the Assia brothers and a third partner, David Ring. Since then, it has raised an excess of $150 million in investor funding and has opened offices in Cyprus and the UK.
In this eToro review, we’re going to be looking at one of the most innovative trading platforms out there. Between its “social trading” features and the fact that you never actually own the cryptos you trade on eToro (I’ll explain both of these points in more detail later), well, the chances are you won’t have traded with an exchange like this before.
Does this creative approach make things easier or more complicated? Is it time to buy into the hype that this rapidly growing brand has been generating? These questions, and plenty more, will be answered in my eToro review.
eToro Key Features
eToro is a large exchange, with some 8 million registered accounts spread across over 140 different countries. It offers its own trading platform, innovative social features, and a wide array of markets to trade on.
Let’s take a quick look at some of the key features of the eToro exchange.
eToro first allowed Bitcoin trading back in 2013, but in 2017 it really expanded its horizons. Now you can trade a full range of cryptos, including Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, and more. If you ever did feel the need to diversify your portfolio, eToro also offers an extensive suite of more traditional trading options. These include forex, commodities, and stocks.
This is easily the exchange’s most eye-catching feature. Thanks to a high level of transparency, you can see big traders’ stats—including their past performance, risk score, and so on—before deciding to piggyback onto their trades. In short, courtesy of the CopyTrader tool, eToro traders can actually see what other traders are doing and replicate it automatically.
eToro has shown a remarkable appetite for innovation and improvement in its toolset. Not content with simply offering a user-friendly and well-received trading platform, in recent years it has also added its aforementioned CopyTrader, as well as its CopyPortfolio. The latter is a long-term investment tool that’s essentially a digital fund manager, powered by machine learning. It combines the actions taken by the platform’s most successful traders and a broader market strategy to manage your investments for you in a low-risk manner.
When a lot of money is potentially at stake, you want to know your funds are funds are going to be fully secured, making it something any eToro review forum must address. Happily, this is certainly the case with eToro, who ensures its users’ personal data is protected and keeps their actual money tucked away in Tier 1 European banks.
Liquidity—the ability to move in and out of trades swiftly—is something that most traders prize in order to be successful. Fortunately, liquidity is never an issue when trading with eToro. This is thanks in part to a market-maker model and to their use of CFDs, which enable fractional trading.
eToro Mobile App
The mobile app, available on both iOS and Android devices, has received generally positive reviews, and makes trading on the go an absolute cinch. You basically get all the same functionalities as the desktop version, including buying and selling cryptos and checking up on your portfolio. Needless to say, the eToro app is one of this exchange’s claims to fame.
Trading on a cryptocurrency-only exchange does have its advantages, but trading on an exchange, which also offers a full range of fiats (like eToro), does make things a lot easier.
The eToro cryptocurrency offering started off with only Bitcoin. Since then, it has expanded dramatically. Now, in addition to Bitcoin, you can trade Bitcoin cash, Dash, Ripple, Ethereum, Litecoin, and more. You can either buy those cryptos directly, or trade them against other cryptos and fiats.
Speaking of fiats, all of the heavy hitters are represented here. You can trade cryptos against GBP, EUR, USD, and JPY.
eToro Sign-up and Login
A confusing and slow registration process can be enough to put a potential trader off right away. Fortunately, the eToro sign-up process could not be easier.
To register, you simply need to provide the bare minimum amount of information—name, username, email address, password, and phone number—and you’re done.
You won’t be able to start making real-money trades then, of course, but you will be able to have a good look around the platform. You’ll also have the opportunity to place virtual money trades, which, again, gives you the chance to get a feel for how everything works.
To begin real money trading, you will have to give eToro more of your personal information. This includes your home address and proof of ID. You certainly aren’t given the same level of anonymity that you receive on some crypto-only platforms, which may be enough to dissuade some people.
Once you’ve logged out of your account, logging in again is simple. Your eToro login details are saved for you—if you so desire—meaning you can be back inside your account within seconds.
The quality of interfaces among crypto-exchange platforms can vary wildly, from the needlessly complex to the overly simplified. I’m pleased to report, therefore, that the interface on the eToro trading platform is absolutely sensational.
All of the main information you need for a given crypto is displayed by default on the main screen: day change, sell price, buy price, and even market sentiment, which shows the percentage of people buying or selling that currency.
Click on a crypto, and you’re given a wealth of additional information. This includes introductory facts, a price chart that’s easy to navigate, and stats on how the currency has performed over various date ranges. eToro also incorporates its excellent social features here too, allowing you to see other eToro users’ recent comments and reviews on that crypto.
Movement from the main screen to all the other sections you’re likely to need—Watchlist, Portfolio, CopyPortfolios, and so on—is seamless, via a sidebar to the left.
With their trading interface, eToro has managed to strike a rare balance between suitability for beginner traders and veterans alike. I have no complaints about it whatsoever. It’s simply brilliant.
As I’ve briefly touched upon already in my eToro review, this isn’t merely a cryptocurrency exchange. It is an extremely well-rounded platform, which basically offers all the options that a seasoned trader could hope for. Stocks, commodities, currencies, indices (including the NASDAQ and Dow Jones), and ETFs are all available for trading.
That’s not to say, however, that eToro comes up short on the crypto front. Despite only being a relatively recent addition to the platform, it appears to have dedicated just as much time to ensuring crypto trading works as well as the other, more traditional markets.
If you just want to use eToro to invest directly in cryptos, you can do so. Alternatively, there is a wide range of pairs that you can trade them against, which include other cryptocurrencies and fiats.
There is one very important thing to note in this eToro review, however. When you invest in cryptos with eToro, you’re actually investing in the underlying asset. You do not own the currency yourself. eToro is buying and selling it on your behalf. That means you wouldn’t be able to move the money into a personal digital wallet, for example, like you can on other platforms.
Finally, leverage buying isn’t available by default with cryptos on eToro, and neither is shorting a currency. If you want to do either of those things, you do have the option to trade CFDs, but they carry their own risks (as eToro does make clear, to its credit).
While I was extremely impressed with the interface for the eToro crypto trading platform, I do feel like it’s lacking when it comes to actual trading tools.
My biggest criticism is the lack of charting tools. Although the charts are easy to navigate and have a pleasingly long time frame, there’s no opportunity to draw trend lines or use any other indicators, like moving averages. To do so, you’d need to use another website like TradingView alongside eToro. The stats that you can view—1 year return, 52 week range, and so on—are quite helpful, but simply won’t be enough for seasoned veterans, a concern you’ll no doubt find mentioned in other eToro reviews.
Otherwise, I do love eToro’s innovative use of social sharing. Its “Copy People” tool, for example, allows you to browse through a range of successful investors. You can view their profiles—in which they outline their general strategy—and see precisely how and where they’ve invested their money, before choosing to follow suit. If you’re an inexperienced trader looking for guidance, this tool could prove invaluable.
How to Make a Deposit
Like everything else on eToro, making a deposit is extremely easy to do, so I’m happy to discuss this next in my eToro review. There’s a pleasingly large range of deposit methods on offer. These range from Visa and Mastercard, to PayPal, Neteller, UnionPay, and good, old-fashioned wire transfer.
The minimum deposit amount varies wildly depending on where you’re based. In some countries, you can start trading with as little as $200. If you live in Israel, by contrast, you’ll need $10,000 to get started.
The time it takes to process your deposit also depends on the payment method. Credit card payments will usually be processed instantly, for example, but wire transfers can take up to one week. You can get a full breakdown of deposit times here.
How to Make a Trade
Making an eToro Bitcoin trade, for example, is extremely easy to do. You literally just click on Bitcoin—if that’s what you want to trade—choose how much money you want to spend, and click “Open Trade.”
The problem is … it’s actually a little too easy.
On most trading platforms, you’re given a series of options when buying an asset. At the very least, you generally have the choice between buying the asset at its market price or buying it if and when it hits a certain price, chosen by you. You can then usually place a stop order, which will cause the asset to be sold automatically at a determined price. Other eToro reviews may also express concern over the absence of this system.
On eToro, you can literally just place market orders, meaning you can only buy and sell cryptos at the current market price. For seasoned traders, this might be enough to dissuade them entirely from signing up, as it removes a huge amount of control and precision.
In terms of its sheer usability, you’ll have spotted already in my eToro review that I’m a big fan of this exchange. When it comes to their fees—however, I have some reservations.
First, many people will be subjected to deposit fees. All trading accounts on eToro use USD. That means that if you want to deposit using a different currency, it’ll automatically be converted into dollars, which can—and probably will—incur a fee. The size of that fee varies based on the exact currency conversion (full details here).
For many currencies, those same conversion fees will also be applied to an eToro withdrawal, so be sure to review them before making one. In addition, all withdrawals are subject to a flat $25 fee. For the smaller traders out there, that’s a pretty hefty charge just to take money out of your account.
In addition, eToro charges overnight fees for holding positions. For example, you’ll be charged 0.036712 ETH per 1 unit every single night, if you’re an eToro Ethereum trader. Finally, eToro also has some pretty sizeable spreads, which can range from 1.5% on Bitcoin, all the way up to 5% on Bitcoin cash.
Add it all together and trading on eToro won’t always come cheap.
The good news is that eToro doesn’t charge any trading fees whatsoever. You can buy and sell to your heart’s content, without worrying about any commission, which is obviously fantastic. The bad news is that they don’t really need to do so, because they already have high spreads and overnight fees in place!
eToro Trading Limits
There are no overall trading limits with eToro. Rather, each market has its own individual limits built in. With Bitcoin, for example, the minimum order size is $200, with the maximum being around $110,000. Ethereum has the same minimum order, but the maximum is lower, at around $90,000. In addition, eToro limits the leverage you’re allowed to trade with to 2:1 for cryptocurrency CFDs.
eToro holds a number of licenses with large financial authorities around the world. eToro USA, for example, is registered with the US Treasury, and the UK branch is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. These prestigious licenses should help give eToro users some significant peace of mind.
On their actual website, eToro doesn’t have a huge amount of information on their security measures. It uses SSL technology and stores its clients’ funds in Tier 1 banks, but that’s all the explanation it really gives. Aside from that, it simply says that it “employs the highest standards of cyber security” and “takes every necessary precaution.”
It’s worth mentioning in this eToro crypto review that they are lacking some features you’d expect to find with such a big exchange. In particular, there doesn’t appear to be much protection during the login process—with two-factor authentication, for example, being completely absent.
eToro don’t have a reputation for being unsecure, and the fact that it’s registered with major financial authorities means it’s had to pass some strict guidelines. Still, it’d be nice to have more information about what exactly the security protocols are.
Unfortunately, customer service is another area in which eToro is found wanting. There is literally only one way to contact them: by opening a ticket. No immediate support—via either phone or live chat—is available. Got an urgent enquiry? Well, tough luck!
It’s not like eToro even replies particularly quickly on its ticket-based service. The official response time is supposed to be 48 hours, but there are widespread reports online—including in other eToro reviews, such as an eToro review or two on Reddit—of people waiting much longer than that.
This all smacks of a company that has expanded too quickly and hasn’t been able to scale its customer service to meet the new levels of demand. Considering it supposedly has millions of customers on its books, paying fairly substantials fees, I’m baffled as to why eToro hasn’t invested more heavily in this area.
eToro enjoys a very solid reputation online, as other eToro reviews can confirm. It doesn’t appear to have experienced any major controversies and seems to have lived a hack-free existence, which suggests your money is safe. There’s the odd report of a user having his or her account frozen—apparently unfairly—but it’s impossible to know the truth behind these anecdotes.
eToro also stands out as one of the biggest success stories in the fintech revolution, which has helped its popularity online. Having started out with just three employees, it now has over 150 workers on its books and has received many millions of dollars in various rounds of funding. In this sense, it serves as an inspiration to aspiring fintech entrepreneurs around the world.
When I was starting to do research for my eToro review, I loved everything about this cryptocurrency exchange. It really does make a great first impression. The interface is fantastic, the signup process is quick and painless, and everything is incredibly easy to use.
Dig a little deeper, however, and the shine begins to wear off. The fees aren’t prohibitively expensive, but we certainly must take them into account. The trading tools themselves are limited, particularly when it comes to placing an order. The customer service, too, is surprisingly poor.
Overall, my eToro crypto review has shown that this is definitely a mixed bag. If I was going to weigh in on the ongoing eToro vs Coinbase debate, I’d have to choose the latter right now. There’s not a huge difference between them, however, and—with time—I hope eToro will become more of a well-rounded exchange.
Q: What is eToro, and how does it work?
A: eToro is a versatile trading platform that supports cryptocurrency trading. Most trading is done via CFDs, meaning you don’t actually own the cryptos.
Q: Is eToro regulated?
A: Yes. eToro is regulated in a few countries, including the UK, the US, and Cyprus.
Q: How much does eToro charge for withdrawal?
A: There is a $25 flat fee for all withdrawals.
Q: What is the minimum deposit for eToro?
A: It depends where you’re based. Minimum deposits can vary from $200 to $10,000.
Q: What are the overnight fees on eToro?
A: It depends on the crypto you’re holding. Check out the full list of fees here.
Q: Does eToro accept US clients?
A: Yes, as of May 2018—a happy discovery while conducting this eToro review.
Q: How do I withdraw money from eToro?
A: Funds can be withdrawn at any time and must be withdrawn to the same payment method used for the deposit. Withdrawals take 1–8 days, depending on the method.