Online investment service TD Ameritrade might be giving its users simulated exposure to bitcoin and litecoin through a new, but not-yet-live, offering on NASDAQ.
According to reports on social media, the brokerage platform is offering paper trades for bitcoin and litecoin through NASDAQ. Paper trading is a simulated form of trading that lets users exchange an asset without actually buying or selling it for real money (think of it like a testnet of sorts).
In a tweet labeled “BREAKING,” the quantitative analyst “Cryptopolis” first sounded the horn on April 22, 2019, hastily claiming that “BTC is now being traded on the NASDAQ!” The Twitter user would later qualify in an updated tweet that the offering, demarcated by the symbol CXERX, is actually a paper trade holding no real value.
“That’s not a symbol we trade on the live side so Im [sic] not really able to speak on it,” a TD Ameritrade support staff told Cryptopolis, per the updated tweet.
“The only bitcoin related products that we trades [sic] are Bitcoin Futures under /XBT,” the support staff continued, saying that their best “guess” would be that the trading is testing.
Litecoin creator Charlie Lee corroborated this information the following day on his own Twitter account. He added that “TD Ameritrade is testing both BTC and LTC trading on its brokerage platform.”
Just saw that TD Ameritrade is testing both BTC and LTC trading on its brokerage platform. pic.twitter.com/TVo39oECeH
— Charlie Lee [LTC⚡] (@SatoshiLite) April 23, 2019
“It’s paper trading, so they are just testing right now, but it’s there for sure,” he added in the comments.
When Bitcoin Magazine reached out to TD Ameritrade to ask if the information was valid, a spokesperson neither confirmed nor denied the paper trading.
“While we currently offer access to bitcoin futures, bitcoin is not available for spot trading on TD Ameritrade’s platform,” the spokesperson said. “We always look to implement products our clients have demand for. When it comes to cryptocurrencies, we take a deliberate approach with a focus on education.”
At the time of publication, we had not heard back on a follow-up asking specifically if paper trades were available.
It should be noted that, while the testing is available on TD Ameritrade, the exchange offering the paper trading is NASDAQ, from which TD Ameritrade pulls some of its offerings.
Bitcoin Magazine reached out to NASDAQ to confirm the news as well, though we did not hear back at the time of publication. If the legacy exchange is indeed offering paper trades for bitcoin and litecoin, the development would be in line with its recent moves to advance itself in the cryptocurrency industry. NASDAQ announced last year that it is eyeing bitcoin futures and it also partnered with investment management company VanEck to launch bitcoin and ether indices this year.
Colin was previously an associate editor and staff writer for Bitcoin Magazine. He's proud to call Nashville his home, where he spends his days shouting at peddle taverns and trying to find affordable parking downtown. If it wasn't already obvious, he holds bitcoin.