eToro is a relative newcomer to the U.S. market. It offers a crypto exchange with trading in 65 cryptocurrencies, as well as an online brokerage platform with access to a limited selection of stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). The platform offers a transparent fee structure and an active community of users—but if you’re looking for a reasonably priced crypto exchange, just beware that eToro charges comparatively high trading fees.
Who Should Choose eToro?
Newcomers to cryptocurrency who want to learn by doing might be most at home on eToro. The platform offers an active user community, and social features like news feeds for specific coins. Chatting with others and diving into social feeds can provide a great introduction to the world of crypto.
At eToro, imitation is truly the sincerest form of flattery. The platform offers features that let you emulate the investing strategies of top crypto traders—and earn rewards if others copy your trading strategies. Advanced crypto traders can earn annual rewards equal to up to 2% of their average balance for building a following on the platform.
If you’re neither a beginner nor someone who’s looking to become a crypto influencer, but simply want rock-bottom trading fees, eToro would not be your first choice as a crypto exchange.
eToro also offers trading in a limited range of stocks and ETFs. The brokerage platform offers a virtual trading account, allowing users to practice trading. Like the vast majority of other online brokers, charges zero commissions on trading stocks and ETFs
Note that users can find lower-cost crypto trading elsewhere—check out your options on Forbes Advisor’s listing of the best crypto exchanges. If you’re looking for an all-in-one trading platform, with access to a variety of different asset classes, look to our list of the best online brokers.
Commissions and Fees
Pricing can be confusing on crypto exchanges, particularly those that cater to beginners, such as Coinbase and Gemini. So it’s refreshing that eToro charges clear and simple fees—technically “spreads”—when you buy and sell crypto.
In the past, eToro’s spreads varied by coin, and fluctuated depending on market conditions. Today, the platform charges a flat 1% spread on all purchases and sales of cryptocurrency.
Potential eToro users should be aware that while simplicity and transparency is nice, the 1% spread charged on purchases and sales of crypto is extremely uncompetitive. Leading crypto exchanges KuCoin and Gemini charge spreads that are a fraction of eToro’s rate.
Here’s one of the big limitations of eToro. If you transfer your coins to a crypto wallet, even the platform’s own eToro Money wallet, you can no longer move them back onto the eToro trading platform.
eToro does not charge any other trading commissions or account management fees. There are no cash withdrawal fees, though the company has a $30 withdrawal minimum.
You’ll pay a crypto transfer fee of approximately 0.50%, up to a maximum of $50, when you send funds from the eToro investment app to the eToro Money wallet, which is necessary to move coins off the eToro platform. Crypto-to-crypto conversion rates, based upon eToro market rates, are 0.1%.
Platform and Technology
The eToro platform offers a good selection of standard brokerage features, like watch lists, price alerts, news feeds and customized charts. But where it shines is its unique community and automated trading models.
CopyTrader and Popular Investor
CopyTrader and Popular Investor are flip sides of the same coin. When users enroll in CopyTrader, they can duplicate the strategies of leading traders, termed Popular Investors.
There’s no fee to participate—Popular Investors are compensated by eToro directly—and once you’ve made your trading bones, you can apply to be a Popular Investor yourself.
You can also use eToro’s related offering SmartPortfolios to replicate the performance of portfolios managed by eToro. This effectively turns eToro into a kind of hands-off, no-fee robo-advisor.
Social Trading Community
Social-media-like feeds of user thoughts and comments are present throughout the platform. You see a general feed immediately when you log in that covers user thoughts on crypto, markets and investing broadly.
When you navigate to each coin or managed portfolio, though, you gain access to a unique feed that presents user posts related only to that specific offering. These comments may be helpful in sparking trading ideas for those new to the crypto world, but keep in mind that their quality is not assured.
The eToro Club is a premium membership that affords users with more features based on their balances. (Officially, eToro calculates membership based on your “realized equity,” equal to the amount you’ve spent to buy securities at eToro plus your cash holdings.) Membership is available once users have $5,000 of purchased crypto assets or cash holdings in their eToro account. Membership grants users:
- Dedicated expert trading support
- A market newsletter and analyst reports
- Live webinars
- Early access to new products, services and features
The eToro platform supports two separate apps: the eToro Cryptocurrency Trading app and eToro Money wallet app. Both are available on Android and iOS. The trading app approximates the web platform, while the wallet app enables users to send and receive tokens as well as convert cryptocurrencies into other coins.
Users must understand that the eToro Money wallet app is the only avenue to transfer coins off the platform. This is a necessary step if you want to maximize security by storing your crypto holdings in an offline cold wallet.
Not all competitors let you move your coins off their platforms, and eToro holds a competitive advantage for offering this critical feature. Unfortunately, be aware that you will incur a fee to do so. If you plan on using an exchange to buy coins and transfer them elsewhere for storage, you may be better served by a platform like Gemini, which offers a set monthly amount of free transfers off their platform, not to mention lower trading fees.
Range of Offerings
The eToro platform offers trading in 27 cryptocurrencies. This is enough to cover the basics for most crypto beginners, but advanced users may find the list limiting. Some of eToro’s more popular available coins include:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Ethereum Classic (ETC)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Stellar Lumens (XLM)
Research and Education
The eToro platform offers plenty of resources for researching and learning about individual coins, the broader cryptocurrency market and investing in general. The research and educational resources are tailored to beginner to advanced users.
The Academy is populated with online guides and videos, covering everything from how to use Etoro to individual coin profiles and investment strategies. The platform’s News and Analysis section provides the latest market news and thoughtful insights into investing.
And let’s not forget the platform’s crypto and stock paper trading offering. This may help beginner traders get a sense of what it’s like to invest without risking any of their own money.
Customer Service and Security
Users can contact eToro customer service via email or online chat. The listed phone number is just a recording that directs users to chat. But here’s the thing about chat: It’s only available for eToro Club members. In effect, this means most users will only have email customer service options. You can also visit the Help Center to sort through categorized lists of FAQs.
In terms of security, cash assets are held in Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC)-insured bank accounts. Security protocols for crypto include offline and online storage of coins, two-factor authentication and state-of-the-art monitoring tools. In addition, no member of the eToro staff can transfer users’ crypto out of cold storage.
Founded in 2007 by Israelis Yoni Assia and Ronen Assia, eToro was built to be a global trading platform, starting with forex. Over the years, it’s added more asset classes, including crypto in 2017, as well as its more social features, like CopyTrader. Today the platform serves millions of users in over 140 countries.